Del Fuegos - The Longest Day
The first album by the Boston-based outfit, the Del Fuegos, is a nice enough piece of work without being anything to write home about. The characteristic driving, guitar-based rhythm which would serve them so well on their second album is in plain evidence here. There is an unmistakeable bar-room feel to it and you can almost imagine the Del Fuegos being the sort of band who you would see in one of those eighties movies providing the background music to those deep and meaningful conversations held in bars between young professionals.
It's roots lie in the sort of mid-sixties garage rock style with one foot firmly in the blues and R'n'B camp, while the other aims to look forward as if playing to lead given by the then British invasion. It has an unmistakeably blue collar feel to it and there can be little doubt that was the way it was intended to be. The songs themselves were descriptions of real life laid out, no frills or ruffs, to appeal directly to the empathic sensibilities of those who lived the same life that the band members would have been so familiar with, coming from their own background. If you had to describe this album in one word, that word would be "honest".
The melodies are strong enough to carry it through and the rather whiny vocals do not overpower or undermine. The production is crisp and without any of the drawbacks which are often associated with first albums, the instruments are played well enough and the lyrics are OK, though the occasional twang can become a little off-putting on some of the tracks. "Nervous and Shakey" is a steady opener, while the album reaches its peak with "Mary Don't Change". The band show their varied influences in other tracks as well. "Missing You" has a strong country influence to it while "Backseat Nothing" has the strongest R'n'B influence to it.
Overall, it has a good, raw sound, but the question is, is that enough? The raw sound hit a note with me, though I am not sure if it was quite the right one. The album lacks something of the energy which you feel should be present. It is as if something got lost in the translation as the Del Fuegos moved from the pubs and clubs of Boston to the recording studio.
I bought this album after I bought Boston. Mass. Looking back at it now, had I bought this album first, I don't think I would have got their second and that would have been a disaster of epic proportions. This album is pub rock, nothing more, nothing less. A band who had spent time touring the pubs and the clubs would emerge into a record deal and cut a disk which would reflect that heritage. That is precisely what this album is. For all the energy and enthusiasm of watching a good band live in an intimate atmosphere, seldom does that atmosphere translate well to the recording studio. It has not done so here. Some of the tracks are quite good and enjoyable enough rockers in themselves - something you would listen to live on a Saturday night out with the boys. But it carries little more beyond that to hold the listener. This is precisely my point. But this was not a patch on their epic second album and, to be honest, in retrospect it did not even seem as if it could be.
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on 2011-04-19 CharlesMartel Said:
Heard rumours that the band is reforming. Would be worth watching.