Since their formation in 2011 (originally under the name Zowie’s Stranded Men) the proto-punk funk-rock outfit San Raquel have been busy making a name for themselves across the country with energetic, confrontational live shows and their hook-heavy distortion driven sound.
At long last comes the much anticipated debut EP, Music On My Mind, named after one of the band’s own lyrics, a sentiment everyone can relate to, now more than ever.
“Music on my mind, without sound I’m blind.”
Lady Madonna – San Raquel
Both tracks, Lady Madonna and Wish I Could, have long been staples of the band’s live sets and, having seen the band on multiple occasions, I was only too happy to hear that they have finally been committed to recording. Be prepared to hear lead lines weave between bass and guitar, all held together by Tom Chittock’s ever steady beats.
How best to describe Lady Madonna? How about effortlessly funky? How about like Red Hot Chilli Peppers with Jimi Hendrix on guitar and Iggy Pop on vocals? Sounds good right? Inspired by imagining what Bob Dylan would have sung in 1965 the lyrics tell the story of getting sucked into repetitive living, becoming a slave to ones own whims, and being unable to escape. Toby Coe’s bass line pulsates steadily throughout, echoing this theme, until right at the end when, after an explosive guitar solo from Jordan Hallett we get display of Toby’s jazz influences to lull us into the next tune.
Wish I Could opens with a more early Rolling Stones feel, almost delta blues even, before the full force of the song hits like a thunderbolt and the band launch into what could be a funkier reincarnation of Guns’n’Roses. All the while Luke Chapman’s smooth, story-teller voice rides the storm with the ease of Zeus himself. Jordan and Toby say had been to see George Clinton shortly before the writing of this track and it really comes across. Make no mistake, this is still rock’n’roll, but with limitless emphasis on that inescapable groove.
Pre-save Music On My Mind here.