Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Plugz-Electrify Me and Better Luck

The Plugz were notable for being the first Mexican-American punk band as well as one of the first punk acts to emerge in Los Angeles in the late 1970’s. Fronted by the talented Tito Larriva, the band fused a traditional rock sound with a punk sense of irreverence as well as a noticeable Hispanic flavor. The fact that the Plugz music has been out of print for over fifteen years borders on a criminal offense (Rhino, are you listening?). The band’s first album “Electrify Me” was released in 1979 and was one of the first self-released punk LPs in the U.S. The title track gets my vote for Best Punk Ballad Ever, and the tracks “Wordless” and “Mindless Contentment” hold up as solid first wave punk tunes. Their next LP, “Better Luck” was released in 1981 and saw the band moving towards roots rock territory (check out this video from around that time-it shows the band in prime-rocking form, playing an unreleased tune called “Elizabeth”). Sorry to alienate the hardcore punk fans, but in this case it seems to have been a good move musically-the Plugz were even better at playing honest rock n’ roll than they were at playing punk. Of special note are the zany “El Clavo Y La Cruz”, the hard rockn’ “In the Wait” and the Chris Isaak-like numbers "Achin’” and "Shifting Heart" In the mid-eighties the band morphed into Cruzados, a straight up rock band that released one album before splitting in 1990.

If all of this doesn’t sate your Plugz needs, drop a few dollars and buy the Repo Man soundtrack CD (available on Amazon). It was put together by Larriva, and features two Plugz songs not found anywhere else.

Electrify Me

1. A Gain - A Loss

2. The Cause

3. Electrify Me

4. Satisfied Die

5. La Bamba

6. Adolescent

7. Braintime


9. Let Go

10. Infection

11. Berserktown

12. Revolution

13. Mindless Contentment

Better Luck

1. Better Luck

2. Red Eye #9

3. Achin'

4. American

5. In The Wait

6. El Clavo Y La Cruz

7. Blue Sofa

8. Touch For Cash

9. Gas Line

10. Cesar's Song

11. Shifting Heart

12. No Love