The fine folks at American Laundromat Records (ALR) have found their niche and the tribute album is it. Enlisting the services of known and obscure artists they have assembled a wealth of records aimed at paying tribute to musicians (Neil Young), movies (Repo Man) and time periods (High School Reunion). These records have received acclaim from critics and fans alike as artists dole out their own renditions of hallowed tunes and not just cheesy karaoke versions.
The latest addition to ALR’s catalog is I Saved Latin: A Tribute To Wes Anderson paying homage to the brilliant music selections he always employs throughout his films. Like Mr. Anderson’s impeccable choices that add to the enjoyment of his films ALR has done the same with the selection of musicians chosen to cover the tunes. Artists like, Juliana Hatfield, Escondido and Matt Pond lend their considerable talents to the project and what they are able to do to these classic songs is pretty damn sweet. With two discs of killer music it is hard to get to them all so I will touch on a few highlights. The legendary Mike Watt and his band the Secondmen rip off a smoldering almost unrecognizable version of “Street Fighting Man” (Rolling Stones). They take the song into a deep dark place creating a brooding piece of music that takes on a life of its own. Margot & the Nuclear So and So’s strip down Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust” delivering a haunting rendition of the classic tune while “This Time Tomorrow” (Kinks) is drenched in the pop flavored goodness that Telekinesis! has mastered. The album kicks off with what may be the best track on the double album. Saint Motel does a bang up job owning “A Quick One While He’s Away” (Who). Just enough rock to honor the original but A/J’s melodic vocals give it the original feel.
All the good tunes from the movies have found their way onto this compilation. American Laundromat Records has really fine tuned their act as they keep pushing the envelope with each release. (I didn't think they could top the Repo Man Tribute.) The songs on this record really hit the mark, keeping the soul of the original songs in tact each artist gives them their own feel. Even though you have heard these songs before, you haven’t heard them like this.