My grandparents used to play southern gothic Christian folk music. True story. I never thought that would tickle my fancy nearly as much as it ended up doing and being an amazing spectacle to boot. They were untrained musicians with little rhythm and were tone deaf singers, but nothing could stop them from preaching the gospel of Old Testament fire and brimstone. They had that elusive je ne sais quoi that many performers don’t understand and no one can buy. It just emanated out of them, almost as if the Holy Spirit himself was driving the train. It’s that very same eerie atmosphere that wafts into a room and takes command that Que Lastima have captured, like a lightning bug in a mason jar on, Tempered Tantrums.
Que Lastima takes their “dumpster swing” seriously and these talented ne’er-do-wells come across on this outing with more than a pinch of Tom Waits meet the Forbidden Zone. If you don’t understand that reference, you need Jesus; or maybe the Devil is more apropos a guide into this maelstrom of cacophony. Tempered Tantrums creeps along at times and blusters boisterously at others. Most of the time it’s a bawdy affair, making Faustian pacts late at night over a few too many drinks while smoking all your Lucky’s to the butt. Simply put: Tempered Tantrums is a tightly crafted record that hits all the marks.
Paultergeist is an excellent host to the festivities, as he keeps the party rolling along. This outing has some special guests, notably Sophie Sputnik of local favorites Killmama. Her voice is intoxicating on the track, “Poison,” and she lends some seriously beautiful moments. The production on this beast is surprisingly great and really brings a whole new dimension to the already stellar dealings. If Paultergeist is channeling some semblance of Tom Waits, Lucio Peligro is trying on Marc Ribot’s sizable shoes, and filling them well.