Los Straitjackets The Velvet Touch Of...

Every young boy who ever perfected the drum solo to "Wipeout" will lap these guys up with a spoon. Notorious for their stage garb, which features extravagant wrestling masks and black spandex, this twisted Nashville foursome throttle the hell out of the best instrumental beach music the Ventures never made, and lace it with enough Link Wray tremolo, Duane Eddy twang, together with a twisted taste of the Tijuana Brass to redefine the genre. This third disc is a short one, but it's long on value, blending equal parts Hi-Test surf music and gentle, tasteful ballads. And if their elaborate costuming wasn't otherworldly enough, check out their humorous and sarcastic approach to Celine Dion's drippy, "My Heart Will Go On" — complete with strings, vibes and closing, appropriately enough, with Titanic sound effects of water pouring down the drain. "Tempest" is a balls-to-the-walls workout capable of simulating cardiac arrest, while "Sing, Sing, Sing" could be the missing theme music to Andy Of Mayberry on amphetamines. The beautiful "Close To Champagne" could've made the perfect prom waltz. The power drumming of Jimmy Leste, beefy bass of Pete Curry and dual guitar attack of Eddie Angel and Danny Amis lend some idea of the band's outlandishly energetic live potential — their shows quickly throwing people to the floor mats across North America. Get some. Pick up someone you'd like to wrestle with and go for a long drive. (Yep Roc)