Review: Gypsy Pistoleros – Wild, Beautiful, Damned

Label: Evil Boy Records

Released: June 4, 2007

I can’t say I’m a huge fan of glam after 1985 or so. I certainly like T. Rex and Sweet and Bowie. I like the New York Dolls and early Alice Cooper. I even like a fair amount of the glam revialists of the early 80s, but by the mid 80s, the revival seemed to have lost sight of its roots. It became stale and formulaic and all but a few of those bands seemed to be going through the motions at very best. That makes me wonder why anyone would want to resuscitate the genre at this point. It’s over, it’s spent, leave it alone. Then along comes the Gypsy Pistoleros to show me exactly why.

The Pistoleros claim to be “flamenco rock.” It’s a claim that leaves one asking, “What? How can that be?” It could be great and it could be a disaster. Wild, Beautiful, Damned shows the flamenco part of that claim to be a bit of a stretch, but the result is far closer to greatness than disaster. There is a very slight bit of Spanish flavor to their music, perhaps attributable to singer Lee Pistolero’s days living in Spain, but the principle ingredient is the loose, dirty swagger of glam in its glory days (yeah, the 70s, not the 80s). The Pistoleros manage to do everything right and still make it feel wrong in the way that good rock n roll always should.

They’ve been touring with the likes of Adler’s Appetite (least important GnR alumni Steven Adler’s joke of a band) and piecemeal 80s metal acts like Bang Tango, Faster Pussycat, Bulletboys and LA Guns that should be ashamed of their whoring selves. They even opened the inexplicably successful Rocklahoma nostalgia fest. But it’s the new kid on the glam block that really carries the mantle of the music that was established back in the 70s. If glam is in fact alive, it is not because of half-baked reunions and bands trying to relive their ill-gotten glory, it’s because the Gypsy Pistoleros can channel the Dolls and T Rex into something new, fresh and a little bit dirty.

Rating: 8/10

Thanks to Bring Back Glam for pointing the Pistoleros out in the first place.

About bobvinyl

bobvinyl, writer and co-editor of No Song is an Island, founded its predecessor, Rock and Roll and Meandering Nonsense (whose archives are found here), in 2005 and served as editor and principal contributor until it went on hiatus in 2010. He has also been published in AMP and Loud Fast Rules! (in print) as well as Glide and FensePost on the web. He has been an avid record collector since he was seven years old and enjoys sharing his love of music from the common to the esoteric.

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