Barrio Tiger - Ave Maria (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Barrio Tiger

Ave Maria (2017)

Ghost highway recordings

Barrio Tiger has been kicking around LA since 2009. They’ve got a couple of EP’s under their belt, but 2017 is the year the Turbojugend approved quartet finally delivers a full length. It seems that it was well worth the wait. The ten full throttle tracks on Ave Maria do not disappoint. Barrio Tiger plays a raunchy brand of punk and garage rock that would appeal to fans of bands like Supersuckers, The Hellacopters, Fatso Jetson, Nashville Pussy or Flexx Bronco. Their debut long player celebrates the power and the glory of all things rock and roll.

“Pete’s Dragon” is the lively opener, followed by the only slightly less aggressive “Dying to Live”. “Fading” slows things down a bit and gets a little more reflective. It’s one of those songs that people write after the age of 30 when they’re questioning the vicious hangover they got from the activities in the first two songs. “Let’s Play Dumb” borrows from MC5 for its catchy as hell chorus. Speaking of hell, you can’t help but wonder about the meaning of the title Ave Maria. It certainly seems like it could be a referring to lapsed Catholicism. The lyrics to “Special Purpose” might give a little insight. “When we go to church, we hang with saints/But when we go to drink, you know we ain’t/What belongs to God, you better give to God/But what belongs to Caesar take.” The very nice cover art also has strange but religious overtones. It ends with the strong trio of tracks, “Calling Your Bluff”, “Born Ready” and “Bullet”.

All the songs on Ave Maria are solid, with memorable vocal hooks, guitar riffs and leads, and solos that jump right out of the mix.. It’s gritty, bare knuckled rock played with swagger, the way it should be. Back in 2003, Eddie Spaghetti and the Supersuckers sang that “Rock ‘n’ Roll Records (Ain’t Selling This Year)”. It’s probably even more true in 2017. It’s a damn shame. Barrio Tiger is cranking out the type of music that goes great with long weekends, cold beer and fast women.