Ray Barbee/Tommy Guerrero/ Matt Rodriguez/ Doug Scharin/ Chuck Treece Blktop Project

Anyone who thinks skateboard music isn’t refined should give this a listen. The project originally started as a soundtrack for the free jams that scored highly respected and innovative skaters Tommy Guerrero, Ray Barbee and Matt Rodriguez’s road trip along the infamous Route 66 between Chicago and New Orleans. Like the blues highway they travelled, the album is a collection of loose jams that have been collected over the years. Unlike skaters that play the musician card however, these guys are fully aware of what there doing. Sounding akin to Guerrero’s solo work, and possibly if Calexico came from Chicago’s post-rock scene, many of the tracks are strongly Latin influenced, whether it’s through the melancholic sounds of the melodica or drowsy horns. They lay down a deep, contemplative groove that is ideal for soundtracks or a Vincent Gallo film but unfortunately, this record suffers from the fact that the songs have been strung together over time, which makes it tough as a complete listening experience. Then again, you don’t get the feeling that these guys are in it for an audience. (Galaxia)