Think: Chilean version of “The Killers” only with more cowbell.
“Los Strippers” front man Carlos Crazy Castro Navaha plays guitar, sings lead and rocks a mean cowbell. Much like Gene Frenkle (1950-2000), Carlos has some pretty entertaining on stage maneuvers; at one point during their encore he was humping the guitar against one of the amps, generating quite a sound. But unlike the Saturday Night Live skit, the cowbell is not the only thing holding “Los Strippers” together. These are some legit indie-rockers.
They have genuine Fender and Gibson guitars, speakers facing the stage, great timing and very few miscues. Real, solid guitar solos (something that isn’t fashionable but that I can’t get enough of), a petite female drummer in a pink wig, and fast paced songs in both English and Spanish that hit hard and rev you up.
“It’s music to dance to,” Carlos said, encouraging people in the crowd to react and show emotion at their gigs. Though, a couple of guys at the Centro Arte Alameda went a bit overboard the night I saw them, and got close to causing some disruption, the band wasn’t fazed at all.
Some songs, like “Kicks on the Radio,” are in English and sung quite well by bassist Francisco IIConde Bambino. Carlos takes the lead on the Spanish songs, of which “Deseo Negro” was one of my favorites. The influence of bands like the “White Stripes” and “The Killers” is noticeable, but not imitative.
After their set, they quickly came back out for an encore that I was skeptical of at first, but convinced of by the end. It’s tough to keep such a fast pace and high energy towards the end of a show, especially in a smaller, not so packed venue, but they did, and I was impressed.
Robbie Rocket (sick lead guitar) and Mamma Drumma’ (you guessed it: drums) round out the rest of the members of “Los Strippers.” I actually ran into Mamma Drumma’ in the bar after the show, without her pink wig on and had no idea she was in the band. A tiny girl with short hair, she said that the wig creates another character for her to be while on stage. Everyone in the band was funny and friendly and loved talking about music and interacting with their fans.
“We wanted to do something different for Chilean music,” Carlos said.
I say keep doing it.