Influenced by the likes of Bored! Radio Birdman, Sonic’s Rendezvous Band, The Hellacopters as well as the MC5, Stooges and Motorhead this impressive list alone was more than enough to pique my interest and have me blasting out ‘94/20’, the all new eleven tracker from Spanish garage punks Señor No.
Having never heard of Señor No before and then discovering that not only do they sing in their native Basque tongue but also that the ‘94/20’ album title refers to the fact that this year is the band’s 26 year in the business only added to the intrigue.
Thankfully ‘94/20’ more than lives up to the mystery and PR hype and in fact just like albums I’ve raved about in the past by the likes of City Saints and Trust what really sets Señor No apart is the fact that the songs are being sung in the band’s native language as it actually adds to the band’s incredible sonic melting pot. And boy what an intoxicating mix it is too. Yes, there are elements of all of the aforementioned bands that could be pulled from the tracks on offer here but for me it is the bark and sneer of singer Xabi Garre (a veteran of the local Basque rock scene) that really hammers home the band’s message. Even if I do have to refer to the English track listing on the band’s Facebook page to really get a grip of the self-styled Bukowski style street poetry the singer specialises in – this doesn’t spoil this musical rocket ride one iota. In many ways this curiously reminds me of what a Basque Tyla fronting the MC5 singing songs about the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle might sound like, and one thing’s for sure, it will definitely require more than my usual “dos cervezas por favor” level of Spanish for me to fully understand.
So, with this in mind let me introduce you to Señor No’s ‘94/20’, an album chock full of musical twists and turns and yes, more than just a hint of mystery thanks to Xabi’s vocal stylings. With the band’s mission behind the record being to re-record and reimage songs from throughout their career to date.
Kicking off with ‘La Ruta Interior’ (The Interior Route) this is perhaps the nearest Señor No comes to the sonic jams of their Detroit heroes and the guitar interplay between Jorge Colldan and Joseba Baleztena at times really does bring to mind Smith and Kramer. For me its when the band really go for the throat like on ‘Déjate’ (Leave It) that they really click and here you can clearly pick out the Motorhead influence albeit with a little Poison Idea thrown in for good measure too.
Señor No are anything but a one trick punk rock piñata though, just take one listen to ‘Perra’ (Dog) where the guitar breakdown really will have you punching the air in celebration or the kooky time signature of ‘Meando En La Niebla’ (Piss In The Fog) that gives the track a real feelgood swig from the bottle kind of swing, all driven along by bassist Fumai and drummer Fosy who put in a superb shift throughout.
Bristling with energy and sounding like the very heartbeat of Basque punk rock ‘n’ roll ‘94/20’ should have by now seen Señor No tearing up and down the highways and byways of Europe in support of the record, that day I’m sure will eventually come, but in the meantime you can order your copy via the link below. Glorious stuff!