Artist: Frank Carillo & the Bandoleros
Project: Name: Bad Out There
Label: Jezebel Records

By Chris Mara

Itís around noon on a Friday.  Iím just starting my second pot of coffee and Iím thinking about switching from caffeine to whiskey.  Why? Well, thereís something about this record that makes me want to kick back in a dimly lit room, sip whiskey from a thick-walled glass and nod my head understandingly to songs that tastefully blend Carilloís rebellious spirit with the acceptance of circumstances beyond his control.

Despite the implausible name "Frank Carillo and the Bandoleros" ; Frank Carillo is one of the most believable artists Iíve heard in quite a while.  Why? Well, now itís after 2pm and Iím halfway through my third glass of whiskey, so itís a bit hard for me to find the do you say...ah, yes, words, to articulate my point.  I guess a lot of it has to do with his gravelly whiskey-soaked voice.  (mmm...whiskey)  It makes me ponder what would happen if he coughed really hard.  I think if he did, heíd cough up a huge phlegm-ball named Spencer that would turn to him and say (in a gravelly voice of course) "Thanks for all the good times" and slither towards the door; leaving Carillo to sing like Justin Timberlake from that day on.

Along with the sincere vocals, the organic (not to be confused with "lo fi"), open and inviting production of the album perfectly matches the bluesy/rootsy feel of the songs, and goes a long way towards solidifying his believability by setting the perfect sonic backdrop for his stories.  The production also really helps to pull the listener in, instead of being too apparent and eventually alienating the listener.  Itís very cool; and everything is done to better showcase the songs.  Kudos folks-good job.

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