ALBUM OF WEEK 29: CALIFORNIA CROSSING

Few days ago my best male friend was having a bad time. One of the things I hate most is that my friends suffer. Sometimes I’ve been told about awful or very sad experiences and I’ve seen myself crying and thinking such suffering wasn’t fair for them.

Anyway, the good thing about male friends is that if they entrust you and ask for your opinion about their personal issues, you can go straight, even though what you say to them might sound harsh. At the end of the day, guys want things plain and simple, clear messages, and not typical female twisting sings. The straighter a person is the better, you might get angry at first but at the end of the day you’ll realize your friend was right and only wanted the best for you, for real.

Not entering in private bizz, after a long chat with him explaining his situation, and my understanding, I probably gave him one of the most simple yet effective advises I could, that he understood immediately. I’d never suggest something like that to a girl friend. I just said:

Hey, XXXXXXXX, if I were you, I’d go straight to the fridge, grab a super cold beer, lit a cigarette, go to your CD selves, look for California Crossing, and play it out loud.

His reply was a simple “damn right!”.

California Crossing

Probably I remarked time ago that fu Manchu are one of my favorite bands ever. I have a weakness for them, and never get tired of them. I cannot understand why this band is so underrated and ignored, especially here in Spain. Their live shows are solid and powerful and they always deliver. You should have seen them at the Islington Academy last year. it was insane!

Some bands have their Holy Trinity. I reckon in this case we’d have to talk about The Action is Go, King of the Road and this California Crossing.

This was the first release of one of their albums I experienced back in Spain after living in UK. I remember as if it was yesterday I used to chat on internet chats a lot. Jaume, Kiko and I were the cyber threesome and we both loved the band, thus we lived the album in a very intense way. I still remember before being able to purchase it, the downloading from Audiogalaxy was like a pain in the ass, as it look ages to finally play it.

California has several references that imply summer: first the word California. For an ignorant such as me who’s never been to the promised land yet, California is sun, beaches and glory. On the other hand the album cover basically sums up the concept I have of California: girls in bikini, sun, surf boards, beach, palm trees, and large yankee cars. Inner artwork is pretty much the same but fully detailed, adding Vans and striped polo shirts, their band stylish trademark. Yep, I started wearing Vans because of Fu Manchu and loved the red/black square slip-ons Brad Davis was always wearing.

Anyway, even though I paid it lots of attention, for many years I considered California Crossing inferior to the previous ones, but nowadays I reckon that was something very stupid to think. California Crossing is powerful, fast, groovie and has a great bunch of hits. In fact it includes the short version of one of my personal top 5 favorite songs, Mongoose. It works as an anthem to the good times and an upper. Cowbell rules the world.

fu manchu

I’m not very good with the names of the songs sometimes, so I’m checking the tracklist while writing this, and you know what? There’s not a single bad song and none of them is expendable. Wiz Kids, Downtown in Dogtown, Squash that Fly, Ampn’, Bultaco…all of them are brilliant. Balch’s riffs are insane, Scott Hill’s nasty and peculiar style singing yet super catchy, and Brant Bjork’s super groovie drums (that drum solo in The Wasteoid must be mentioned here). By the way, it’s a pity the drummer left the band to start his solo career although it’s also true Fu Manchu have always had very outstanding drummers.

The natural speed feeling that comes with this album makes me feel like driving or skating. Unfortunately I can’t do any of them, but riding my little motorbike and music is not the option. The energy this album generates is only comparable and overcome by their live performances.

I should attend a Fu Manchu show once a year at least. Hope their new album finally comes out at the end of 2013. I need new more stuff. They’re so great!

One response to “ALBUM OF WEEK 29: CALIFORNIA CROSSING

  1. Buen consejo amiga. Y que razón tienes: las amistades con chicos permiten un lenguaje tan diferente a la de las chicas…
    ¡Un abrazote!

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