Long Live Mint Records!!
As noted in the Young And Sexy review posted here earlier today, Mint generously sent us two (count ‘em 2!!) tasty records for our review, for which we are simultaneously entirely grateful and thrilled to bits!
The second of the two is this completely groovy and rockin’ collection of instrumental brilliance called Vista Cruiser Country Squire by the Ramblin’ Ambassadors. What a great party disc! There’s a lot of surf twang here, and some rockabilly and punky goodness too. This is a pure romp through good times, no doubt about it!
Now, I don’t know that they can get much surfing done in Calgary, but these guys surely have picked up on the essentials of that genre’s sound, and here they once again offer it up with stupendous aplomb. Think Dick Dale and the Del-Tones mixed with some Reverend Horton Heat (sans vox), and you’re getting close! Jack Johnson this ain’t!
There’s such a cool groove here that these songs would probably be ruined if they had lyrics. My ear already naturally wants to embrace the guitar lines and that steady, swinging bass and drum combo anyway, and here there is so much to feast on it’s gotta be embarrassing to be lesser acts, aspiring one day to sound as good as this. Look, if this record doesn’t make you wanna get up and dance, or drive really fast… or maybe both at the same time… there’s gotta be something wrong with you!
All of the original tunes here are delicious aural proof that these guys know exactly what they’re doing. The reverb-filled, Danelectro-sounding guitar work is stellar, and the bass sounds like its own lead line while the drums bounce and swing under perfect control. And yet there’s a sense that they are purposely still managing to make the whole affair sound just that little bit gritty, exactly like it should be. Sweet!
Add to all of this bliss the three cover tunes offered here: Cecelia Ann, which is included here as two different tracks at two different tempos (rockin’, and slinky cool), is a Surftones track. Kamikaze is by the Bel-Airs, and Rat Creek is, as you are all well aware of course, a song by the Sadies. Oh man, could you imagine seeing the Ramblin’ Ambassadors in concert with the Sadies? Wow! The dance floor would have to be huge! What a great, great, great night of music that would be! Hey, whomever sets these shows up… Please make it happen near my house! That would rock!!
So, after all that breathlessness, you already know I’m gonna tell you to find out everything you can about this band (follow the convenient link to to the Mint web site on the left of this page!), and then that you have no choice but to run out and buy this record as soon as it hits the street, right? So what the hell are you waiting for? Go! Go! Go, already!
Long live the reverb! Humungous thanks again, Mighty Mint Records!
01 Camino Real
02 Cecelia Ann
03 Frank Slide Song
04 Speed Wobble
05 Lonesome Rambler
06 Cupcakes di Milo
07 March Of Dimes
09 Besa Me Bottom Turn
10 Cabbage Diablo
11 Rat Creek
12 Cecelia Ann