Kurt Baker Combo – Muy Mola Live! (2015)

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Recorded June 2014 at Salty Peet’s Rock Shack in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Muy Mola Live! is everything a live effort should be.

Starring Kurt on lead vocals and guitar, Jorge on lead guitar, Juancho on bass and Sam on drums, the fiery foursome erupts with such excitement and electricity that you’ll feel as if you’ve been transported to the show, right in front of the amplifiers, bobbing your head and stamping your feet to the rollicking rhythms. Crackling with clarity, the sound quality is fierce and full, encouraging the disc to be played at top volume.

A quintessential power pop platter, Muy Mola Live! (Kool Kat Musik) captures Kurt Baker Combo rocking their hearts and brains out to a nice mix of original material and cover songs. Self-composed tracks like “Weekend Girls,” “Partied Out,” “Everybody Knows,” “Don’t Go Falling In Love,” and “Tried And True” are so classically catchy you would swear they were hit singles during the golden age of radio. Clearly educated by the best, Kurt Baker Combo reveal their inspirations via fine remakes of “Don’t Look Back” by the Remains, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller’s “Love Potion #9,” and “Cry For A Carajillo” (aka “Cry For A Shadow”), an early Beatles instrumental.

No unplugged ballads, pretentious tinkering, or clumsy tuning up is heard here. Mean, lean, and keen rock and roll is what Kurt Baker Combo preaches. Vocals made of brass and muscle, augmented by swift and sweeping choruses bead the songs, while the drums explode with intensity, and the guitars buzz and pulsate with melodic sensibilities. The energy level is amazingly high, but harnessed tight. Tethered by gravity, the band sustains momentum from beginning to end.

Along with the aforementioned influences, Kurt Baker Combo especially model their riffs and chords on the popping garage rock of the Romantics, the Plimsouls, and the Swinging Neckbreakers. But their enthusiasm and delivery exists in the here and now. Kurt Baker Combo keep it real, and Muy Mola Live! is rock and roll in all its raw and genuine greatness.

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson was born the day Ben E. King hit No. 4 with "Stand By Me" -- which is actually one of her favorite songs, especially John Lennon's version. She's contributed to Lance Monthly and Amplifier, and served as Rock Beat International's associate editor. Paterson has also published Inside Out, and Twist & Shake. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Beverly Paterson
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