14:42 min • Manna Songs • May 21, 2012
I finally have my summer anthem. And who’d have thought it would have come from the girl who played Tonks in Warner Bros. Harry Potter franchise.
In truth, I’ve only seen the first two Harry Potter films (I know – bad gay, bad!) so I actually knew about Molotov Jukebox way before I knew lead singer Natalia Tena as an actress. I’ve got some very eclectic friends, and through our mutual love of bands like Gogol Bordello, Sonic Boom 6 and Urban Voodoo Machine, I was introduced to their latest find a few years ago and immediately fell in love with Molotov Jukebox and their central American vibe. Their last EP, Double Dare, brought them relative critical acclaim, but I was still waiting for them to set the charts alight – and new EP Bang seems to be a step in the right direction.
The aforementioned summer anthem is ‘Don’t Panic’, a song that starts off its life as gypsy blues, all horns, acoustic guitar and a sultry blues vocal. As we hear Natalia croon,
No you’ll never, no no never,
Take me alive –
And a rockabilly double bass hits, the song explodes into a gypsy-punk-rock’n’roll classic that makes me want to don a teddy boy suit and Mexican candy skull makeup while blasting this song out of the window of my Chevy! Yes, it’s that good it makes me want to learn to drive!
Elsewhere, opener and lead single ‘Tick Tock’, and it’s accompanying video, are exactly what we’ve come to expect from the gang. A great hook, a danceable beat and great lyrics. The video has them painted up like Day Of The Dead skeletons and is the perfect visual to capture the Mexican vibe and quirky nature of the band. ‘Give It A Go’ could be my life. A tale of vowing to only have one-night stands to eliminate heartbreak, only to meet someone and think,
No, no, no
I wanna give it a go, go, go.
‘Trying’ is flawless gypsy punk complete with a catchy chorus and acoustic breakdown that tugs at your heart strings before it is enveloped by drums and horns. Theres almost a metal edge to the instrumentation, only with brass instead of electric guitars, and that is most prevalent in ‘Trying’ and the closer ‘Don’t Panic’, which would explain the high octane moshpits at a lot of their gigs. This is definitely brass you can mosh to, which is perfect in my book.
If you haven’t heard of Molotov Jukebox, where have you been? I demand you listen to this EP now, as it will no doubt be the soundtrack to your summer! If you already know the genius of this band, while there’s nothing new here, the 4 tracks showcase what they do so perfectly, matching central American sounds with contemporary pop, jazz and even punk vocals to create an exciting melting pot of sounds.
Bring on the album, the sun is already starting to shine.