Barrio Tiger’s new offering Ave Maria is a big dumb rock record filtered through the lens of late ’70s New York punk. It’s Turbonegro light with a touch of the Heartbreakers and a surging energy just itching to burst through the seams of its denim jacket. But this should come to no surprise to the band, they seem to be reveling in the sounds of the past and doing a damn good job of honoring their forefathers. Ave Maria is a fun Saturday night party record, it’s not the new Radiohead, you don’t need to digest it over an extended time span; turn on the hi-fi; crank up the volume and pollute your cranium with some rock and roll debauchery. Maybe add pizza and beer but that’s pretty much it though, too much thought ruins a good time; hence big dumb rock record.
The Ramones were fantastic but they weren’t smart they also aren’t stupid: they were dumb. They had low expectations and high levels of A.D.H.D.; they just wanted to have a good time, man. That’s what makes a great big dumb rock record, look at Van Halen; not stupid, but no one in that band is earning a PhD in theoretical physics. Barrio Tiger ain’t changing shit with this record, they’re just offering you the next slab o’ wax to play at full blast to annoy your neighbors and honestly those are some of the most memorable records. They don’t work hard to challenge your intellect; like a snake charmer or a greasy drifter trying to pick up your big sister they’re here to help you relax, move your hips, lose your inhibition sand blow your mind. It’s junk food for the ears and boy howdy is it a luscious time while you hang on for the ride!
Like a rock and roll Frankenstein, Ave Maria is an homage to the pieces that make up the sum of its parts. However once the monster is created by those influences it’s a rampaging beast that might have a switchblade, is probably hitting on your girl at the bar and probably owns that chopper parked outside the bar filled with amphetamines. Just saying, it’s that kind of record; can you dig it?