We’re all stuck, no one can go anywhere, people are restless, and what are we to do? But the idea we can’t have fun and loosen up is a myth, because all you really need is to be drawing breath and a willingness to do something other than obsess about the news and the reality of all the hell that is surrounding us at every moment.
Granted, all the social aspects are on the outs, but we have music that can help us get by and perhaps even let us try to have fun for a bit. A great place to start is with “Satan’s Favorites,” the debut from Philly-based Narcos Family Band, who mix punk, psychedelics, metal, and straight-up rock over eight tracks that refuse to let you feel like shit. The music is a blast to hear, as every second of this thing is pretty much daring you to respond, party, freak out, sweat, whatever. If you’re looking for abject heaviness and skullduggery, you may not find what you’re looking for, but especially at a time like now, we all need to remember how to feel good about something. This record does that as the band—vocalist Hot Meat, guitarist/vocalist Unc, keyboard player/vocalist Jawn Lord, bassist Will Spectre, sax player Good Rick, drummer Old Rick—pours all of themselves into this thing and leaves you a mess wondering what the fuck just happened to you.
“Too Late” gets the record off to a rousing start with spooky keys, guitars kicking in, and the sax work pumping. Gritty singing erupts from Hot Meat (what a sentence) as the catchy fury enraptures, and Jawn Lord joins in the fun soulfully wailing, “It’s too late!” before the final punches are landed. “As Above, So Below” has the bass driving, organs blaring, and Jawn Lord teasing, “Any time you need my love,” as the sax rumbles beneath everything. The track continues to add swagger as Hot Meat shouts, “Say you need my love, say you need it,” as the track ends in sweat and fumes. “Black Hat Boogie” is short but sweet as guitars fire up, the playing feels fun and sleazy, and a simple chorus blasts through, making you feel spent. “Ready to Die” enters with a bluesy hook and a humid pace as it burns along. The chorus is easy and sticky, which is a good thing, while the organs shimmer, bringing a psyche edge, and molten sax takes us to our finishing point.
The title track opens with the sax out front, the guitars bubbling up, and gnarly vocals striking you and taking you for a ride. The chorus is cool as shit, as Jawn Lord’s singing soars again, and everything ends in echo, leaving your mind blank. “Brian Jones” has thick riffs and shimmering keys barreling through as Good Rick’s sax blurts out, and a mesmerizing ambiance is achieved. “One of these days I’m going to slip you up,” is a group call as the guitars ignite, and the keys and sax meld together into a mind-altering haze. “Charlie’s Head” is a barrage of woodwind brass and synth whirls, slowly emerging before the bruising begins. “Everyone needs to die,” Hot Meat warns with menace, as the riffs rumble behind, bringing their own ominous warnings. Sax swelters again, as all elements combine to create a weird alien storm. “Out of Time” closes the album with the repeated mantra of, “You’re always out of time,” as psyche moods elevate. The track turns into quite the mind fuck as it flows along as Hot Meat does some speak singing, the chorus rounds back and lands blows, and the track bleeds into oblivion.
There’s no reason we have to feel like terrible all the time, and if we want to get loose and fire up some drinks and other mind-altering substances in the comfort of our homes, you won’t go wrong inviting Narcos Family band to the party. But not in person! They cannot come to your place to destroy you because we don’t want to trade viruses. Luckily, “Satan’s Favorites” has everything you need to blast out into oblivion and forget the madness for a while.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/narcosfamilyband/
To buy the album, go here: https://narcosrocknroll.bandcamp.com/album/satans-favorites