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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: The Teledynes S/T

Rockabilly is not one of those music genres you run into all the time. Aside from acts like Brian Setzer and/or the band he has been a part of for years, Stray Cats, you rarely run into Rockabilly. So when you find someone creating new music from the genre, it truly stands out in the music industry where Pop-Rock is mainly the norm. One band that has added to the Rockabilly genre with their music is the band The Teledynes.

The Teledynes is a three-piece ensemble much like the aforementioned Stray Cats who are creating their own Rockabilly music. The trio features the talents of Will Cooley, Eric Lepene and Mike Volatile, three men who have been performing for well over fifteen years. The difference between the two bands is that The Teledynes seem to draw from both the Stray Cats as well as the Brian Setzer Orchestra as the band combines elements of Rockabilly, Big Band and several similar styles together in order to create the music on the band’s new self-titled release.

“Crazy Train” is the first track of the self-titled release from The Teledynes. While the title of the track brings to mind the song from one Ozzy Osbourne, this is a much different song. The track begins with a musical passage that brings to mind the Jump Blues feel of the Brian Setzer Orchestra before the combination of the Rockabilly feel and the inclusion of the horns on the track come together. The bouncy feel to the music as well as the driving pace create a song that would easily have been right at home during the Big Band Revival during the nineties and early 2000s.

While the first track off of the self-titled release from The Teledynes brings to mind the Brian Setzer Orchestra, the second track takes the band’s music in a slightly different direction. The track “Callin’ On the Devil” calls up comparisons to a different band that had some success of their own during the nineties. “Callin’ On the Devil” is a track that draws upon the influences of Gangster Bop band Royal Crown Revue, a band who became known after its song “Hey Pachuco” was used in the movie The Mask with Jim Carey. The style and influence of Royal Crown Revue is very evident in several ways on the track, starting with the style of the music and the title of the track. Using some of the influence from Royal Crown Revue, the “Callin’ On the Devil” contains a fun feel to the music while still containing a bit of evilness to the lyrical content of the track.

Big band, Rockabilly and Gangster Bop are only three influences that help shape the music of The Teledynes. With the track called “Cohaagen,” the band calls upon the influence of Stratocaster king Dick Dale. The instrumental track contains a very similar style to the recently deceased musician who became known for songs including “Miserlou”. The Stratocaster-led track “Cohaagen” contains the same Surf Rock style that was around in the sixties. The Teledynes do a very good job of reviving the style while keeping the music fresh. For those who enjoy Surf Rock, this track is definitely for you.

Perhaps the most unique track on the self-titled release from The Teledynes is the song entitled “Way Out West”. Continuing to add more layers to their sound, the band combines the aforementioned influence of Brian Setzer and Stray Cats with a generous amount of Western influence. The result is a track that starts with a strong Rockabilly feel and the addition of the Western/Country flavor gives the track a different feel than any of the tracks that came before it. “Way Out West” with the twang in the guitar stands out as unusual when compared to the tracks that came before on the release. But that unusual delivery simply helps to keep the album moving along and staying fresh.

The self-titled release from The Teledynes continues with the track “47 Cadillac”. While the track easily contains a strong Stray Cats influence as that is the main influence that comes through, the track also brings to mind the sound and style of Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen. Of course, that should be rather evident with the title of the track bringing to mind that band’s classic track “Hot Rod Lincoln”. The track from The Teledynes contains the same loose, fun feel as the music of the older band.  

For the next track called “Shot of Whiskey,” The Teledynes create a track with a solid Rockabilly flavor to it. The fun, bouncy beat contained with this track allows the band to create a track that sounds very familiar. But unlike other tracks on this album that feel influenced by the Stray Cats, “Shot of Whiskey” simply draws upon the overall genre of Rockabilly and not a specific influence.

Like the song “Cohaagen” from earlier in the release, the track entitled “September” features the band creating a strictly instrumental track. But instead of the influence from the likes of Dick Dale, “September” feels more like something from the instrumental duo of Santo & Johnny  who were known for songs such as “Sleep Walk”. In fact, the track will undoubtedly take the listener back to the early fifties as the song contains that sort of feel to the music.

As the listener makes their way through the self-titled release from The Teledynes, they encounter many different styles of music that help add shape to the band’s sound. The inclusion of styles like Jump Blues, Rockabilly, Instrumental Rock and other sounds create an ever-changing patchwork of sound. The release never stays in one spot, musically, for more than one song before it changes directions. The three members of the band have a lot of talent and the various styles of music contained within the release make it truly evident.

 

For a taste of the music from The Teledynes, check out the song “Crazy Train”. 

For more information, check out Microcosms’ PR Firm, Whiplash Marketing & Whizkid Management. Click on the logo below to visit their site.

 

 

 

 

 

To check out the entire self-titled release from The Teledynes on spotify, click on the album cover below:  

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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Matty T. Wall “Sidewinder”

Australian musician and singer-songwriter Matty T. Wall became a fan of American Blues music at a young age. The style of music crossed over from America and found a market in Australia where Wall and others then picked it up. He, then, found a band to help bring his music to life. Along with Matty T. Wall, the musicians who help him form a band include Stephen Walker on bass guitar and Ric Whittle on drums. What results from this trio is a musical style that contains a strong Blues base with plenty of energy in the music. Together, that trio has recently put out the second album to be released from Matty T. Wall entitled Sidewinder.

Sidewinder from Matty T. Wall begins with the song “Slideride. “Slideride” is a track that seems to just explode into the air as the track begins. The song features a strong Rock and Roll feel to the music with a hint of Southern Rock to go along with a musical approach that recalls the playing of the guitarist Dick Dale. The energy that comes from the guitar on the instrumental track gives the listener a very strong track that acts like an intro for the rest of the music that is to come.

The album’s title track of the release follows the track “Slideride”. “Sidewinder” contains the same type of energy as the previous track and comes with a driving feel to the music. The energetic feel of the music recalls songs from bands like Aerosmith and other rocking bands in the eighties who would be described as Power Rock. The driving feel of the music is met with the energetic vocal delivery from Matty T. Wall who vocals also feel as if they would have been right at home in the eighties, but would also feel right at home in today’s more upbeat Rock and Roll bands.

The Sidewinder release from Matty T. Wall continues with the song “Something Beautiful”. This track slows the pace of the music down quite a bit. This track also features a stronger Blues-like feel to the music. The slower, more relaxed track allows for Wall’s vocals to shine through as those vocals show off his vocal range as he sings. While the track is quite a bit different than the two tracks that came before it, “Something Beautiful” allows a more Pop feel of the music from Matty T. Wall to come through.

While Matty T. Wall draws from the Blues when writing his music, the new track on the release proves that he also pays attention to other forms of music that also have been rather large influences on Rock and Roll. The track “Change is Gonna Come” takes the music of the album back several decades as the track was originally written by Soul singer Sam Cooke back in the mid-sixties. The Soul influence from the song is definitely felt on the new version from Wall as he and the band create the track with plenty of Soul feel. The use of strings on the track helps to add to that soulful feel. With all the political unrest in the world at the moment, it seems very fitting to revive the track right now. The new version by Matty T. Wall and his band does a good job of paying tribute to the original version from Sam Cooke.

With the track “Can’t Stop Thinkin’,” Matty T. Wall and band bring forth a real Bluesy feel to the music on this track. Paying tribute to both the early Blues musicians like Robert Johnson and the later musicians who had been influenced by them such as Stevie Ray Vaughan, the track “Can’t Stop Thinkin’” falls somewhere in the middle of both eras. The track’s lyrics feature a feel that brings to mind the early writing of the Blues legends while the music of the track contains enough energy that it brings to mind the newer artists who like Matty T. Wall, are creating new Blues tracks today.

For the track “Shake It,” Matty T. Wall and his band perform a track that features a Bluesy Rock and Roll feel to the music. The energetic track with the Blues/Rock feel to the music brings to mind the early days and the later days of the band Great White when that band created tracks that were heavy on the Blues influence. In fact, “Shake It,” much like Great White’s earlier track falls into the Classical Rock vein. If you’re a fan of Classic Rock, this is one track on the Sidewinder release from Matty T. Wall you must check out.

Another track on the new release from Matty T. Wall that features a strong Soul feel like the song “Change is Gonna Come” from earlier in the album is the track “Ain’t That the Truth” It is the guitar work on the track that stands out the most. The overall Soul feel of the music plus the Jazzy feel of the guitar brings to mind the playing style of the American singer-songwriter John Mayer. The way the overall feel of the track blends together with the guitar work on the track, listeners can hear influences from the like of Mayer as the track is slightly reminiscent of tracks from the early days of that musician. In fact, “Ain’t That the Truth” would not feel out of place on Mayer’s 2001 release of Room for Squares.   

While most of the release from Matty T. Wall would be considered fun and relatively easy to listen to, the Australian singer-songwriter brings his new release to a close with the most controversial track on the album- “Mississippi Kkkrossroads”. “Mississippi Kkkrossroads” is the one track on the release that Wall wrote that used the words from Chris Thomas King who tells the tale of a man who is being chased by an angry mob because they simply don’t like him because of who he is. Like the song “Strange Fruit” from Billie Holiday, “Mississippi Kkkrossroads” was written as a way to expose the bad things that were going on in the Deep South here in America. With his version of the song, Matty T. Wall performs his lyrics to his track using rap as the style to bring a lot of the anger out of the lyrics.

Throughout his new album of Sidewinder, Matty T. Wall creates songs that make use of the various musical influences he has acquired over the years. Classic Rock, Soul, Blues and more blends together to make a release that feels rather well-rounded. The inclusion of the various styles ensures that the listener will find something that they will connect with as they listen.

For more information, check out Matty T. Wall’s PR firm of Whiplash PR & Management by clicking on the logo for the company.

 

 

 

 

To check out the music from Matty T. Wall, check out his video to the song “Sidewinder“. 

To find Matty T. Wall on Spotify, click HERE

To check out the album of Sidewinder from Matty T. Wall, click on the album cover below: 

 

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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Matt Hurray “Unnecessary Commentary”

Back in 2012, California-based guitarist Matt Hurray released his debut solo release entitled Egyptian Surfer. That album found Murray creating songs that featured a strong Surf Rock sound. But the album also contained many other influences that gave the release a very wide array of sounds. The ever-changing style of music made Egyptian Surfer a strong release.

Now, Matt Hurray has returned with a new release of original music. And while the focus of the music is once again on Surf Rock, Hurray’s new release is just as varied as his debut release. Hurray’s new album is entitled Unnecessary Commentary.

Right from the beginning, Unnecessary Commentary from Matt Hurray features his Surf Rock style of playing. The first track of “El Rollo” finds Hurray and his band creating a song that contains a strong vibe that will remind you of the music from the band The Ventures. “El Rollo” would fit in well with instrumental Surf Rock from the sixties.

With the track “Corduroy,” the band switches things up by changing directions slightly. While the track does contain some Surf Rock influence, there isn’t much of it in the track. What is included in the track is Rock and Roll that would be found in the seventies or early eighties. The track would fit in more with artists like The Cars or Devo. The music of “Corduroy” is a lot more straight-out Rock and Roll than it is Surf Rock.

On the song “Black Sand Tan,” Matt Hurray and his band change directions even more. Gone is the Surf Rock influence as they add a lot of Jazz-inspired influence to the song. The electric guitars from Hurray and Jim Rice, as well as the organ from Danny Timms help to make the track of “Black Sand Tan” sound like a Smooth Jazz track.

The energy level of the music is brought back up on the song “June Solstice”. But instead of containing the usual style of Surf Rock, the song takes on a much more island-flavored sound. The playing of steel guitarist Gary Brandin and the ukulele from Chris Cruttenden helps to create that island flavor in the music. Think “Jimmy Buffet-meets-The Ventures”.

One of the most unusual tracks on Unnecessary Commentary from Matt Hurray is the song “Sunset Girl”. With the inclusion of the steel guitar from Gary Brandin, the track contains a definite vibe from the duo of Santo and Johnny. But the music also seems to contain a certain amount of Roots Rock influence from the likes of Buddy Holly. The two influences are very dominant on the song, but neither of those influences seems to overwhelm the other. Together, the two styles combine on the track to create a song that feels as if it should have been created back in the fifties. However, it still is one of the best tracks on the new release from Matt Hurray.

Although there is plenty of Surf Rock influence contained within the new release from Matt Hurray, he also has included plenty of Jazz influence on his new album. The song “One day Away” finds Hurray trading his electric guitar for a classical one. The acoustic feel of the classical guitar in the Jazz on the track gives the song a different feel than the vast majority of the tracks on the release. The playing by Matt Hurray on the song also shows off his range as a musician.

With a title like “The North Swell,” you would assume that a song would simply ooze the sound and style of Surf Rock. But, ironically enough, that is really not the case with this track. While there is some Surf Rock influence in the music, the song feels more like a straight-out instrumental rock track from the sixties. The unmistakable sixties influence comes from the psychedelic flavor that comes through in the music. While not really Surf Rock, “The North Swell” is still a strong track that brings to mind the music of an earlier time.

Like several other tracks on his new album, Matt Hurray’s song of “Chillin’” contains a Jazz influence rather than a Surf Rock influence. So much so, that “Chillin’” would easily fit on any Smooth Jazz radio format. The music of the track somes to life with the help of Gary Brandin whose steel guitar shines through as the strongest instrument on the track. “Chillin’” ends up being one of the strongest and most infectious tracks on the album.

The new release from Matt Hurray entitled Unnecessary Commentary is an album that is overflowing with eighteen tracks. Each and every one of them is a track that is sure to catch your interest. While Hurray’s influences from the likes of The Ventures or Dick dale do come through in Matt Hurray’s playing, each song is definitely his own. And with the inclusion of other styles mixed in with the dominant Surf Rock influence, Unnecessary Commentary from Matt Hurray is a well-rounded release with something for nearly every taste.

Click HERE to check out “7th Street,” the first video to be released off of  Unnecessary Commentary from Matt Hurray.

Click on the album cover below to purchase a copy of Unnecessary Commentary from Matt Hurray.matthurray2

 

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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: The Love Dimension “Freakquency Space Mind Continuum”

The San Francisco-based band The Love Dimension is a musical ensemble that has gone through many different formations over the span of its history. The Psychedelic Rock band is steeped deeply in the sound of the psychedelic music produced in the 1960s. So much so that when you listen to the band’s catalog of music, you feel like you’ve immediately have been transported back in time. There is nothing like listening to the innovators of Psychedelic Rock from back in the 1960s. However, the music from The Love Dimension is as authentic as you can get…for a band that is 4 decades removed from that time period.

The band has gone through many different members and formations throughout the history of the group. But the band has maintained the same quality in its sound. That has to do with singer/multi-instrumentalist Jimmy Dias. Dias ensures that the sound will remain no matter who is currently in the band.

With that said, The Love Dimension is celebrating the release of their newest EP entitled Freakquency Space Mind Continuum. On this release, Jimmy Dias took the reins completely and created the entire album on his own. Dias added all instrumentation and vocals to every one of the 5 tracks that make up the new EP. While created by one person, Freakquency Space Mind Continuum sounds as genuine and full as anything released by an entire band of musicians.

Freakquency Space Mind Continuum begins with the track “Together Again”. Like much of the band’s music, the track immediately takes the listener back to the sixties. It contains just the right amount of musical inspiration from that time period. With this track, Jimmy Dias shows off his talents as a multi-dimensional musician. Every note feels as genuine as if an entire group created the track and not just one musician. For instance, the guitar parts on the track blend together to create a layered effect. That layered effect adds a lot of texture to the track. For the rest of the instrumentation, the drums and bass parts feel just as genuine as the guitar on the track. “Together Again” is one track that allows Jimmy Dias to shine as a musician.

The new release from The Love Dimension continues with the song “When Soul Love Begins”. The previous track features a very strong retro feel to the music. However, “When Soul Love Begins” finds Dias adding even more of a psychedelic feel to the music.  Dias moves the song even further into the sound of the sixties. The biggest and most obvious psychedelic influence in the song comes from the addition of the electric sitar. The sitar and the electric guitar add just the right retro feeling to the music.  The electric guitar and electric sitar compliment the lyrics that also feel rather dated. And while dated, the lyrics and music together will give fans of the sixties just a little reminder of what that time period sounded like.

Freakquency Space Mind Continuum continues with the instrumental track of “Surf Heart”. For “Surf Heart,” Jimmy Dias stays in the retro state of mind for yet another track. The music brings to mind surf gods like Dick Dale, The Ventures and other instrumental artists. These artists helped to shape the style of “Surf Heart”. Although there is that influence in the music, Dias creates a song that stays away from copying any specific playing style. Because of that, the surf rock on the song is unmistakable as to the style of the music. However, the track is not too overly influenced by any one particular entity.

The next track of “Get Real Wild” finds the music gaining a lot more of a groove. The track ends up being that track on the release to get up and dance to. “Get Real Wild” would have been easily featured on any of the dance shows back in the 60s had it existed back then. The song then transforms into a more acoustic version of itself as “It Could Be a While.” The additional minute and a half continues the song before bringing the EP to a close.

The Love Dimension’s Freakquency Space Mind Continuum once again shows off the talents of Jimmy Dias. Even more so this time ‘round as he created the 5-track release himself. Every musical element on the release came from one individual musician. The newest release from The Love Dimension proves itself to be solid from the first note up to the final note.

To hear the music of The Love Dimension, check out their song “Together Again“.

To purchase the music of The Love Dimension, click on the cover below:

continuum

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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Satan’s Pilgrims “Frankenstomp”

Very few bands in today’s music industry make it past an album or two before they split to create another band or simply give up altogether. It is really rare in today’s music industry to find a band that stays together for any length of time. So when a band like Satan’s Pilgrims stays together for over two decades, that’s really something to celebrate.

The Portland-based band of Satan’s Pilgrims is one musical outfit that has truly created a lasting legacy in today’s music industry. The band is currently closing in on celebrating twenty-five years together as a band. Satan’s Pilgrims include: Dave Pilgrim on guitar, sitar, organ, percussion; Scott Pilgrim on electric guitar; John Pilgrim on electric bass; Bobby Pilgrim on electric guitar; and Ted Pilgrim on drums.

Having spent so many years creating original compositions as well as cover arrangements of well-known surf rock instrumentals, the band has taken some time off from recording. In fact, it’s been several years since Satan’s Pilgrims has released an album. The last album from Satan’s Pilgrims was 2009’s Psychsploitation. Since then, they’ve been rather silent.  However, the band recently decided to release a 27-track compilation album that brings a lot of the band’s musical history together in one place. The new 2015 release from Satan’s Pilgrims is entitled Frankenstomp.

Frankenstomp from Satan’s Pilgrims brings together well over an hour of music from the surf rock band to remind old and new listeners of what the band can do. When listening to the new compilation, you can easily tell that the band is able to hang with the best of them. And since the band was influenced by artists such as The Ventures, Duane Eddy and even Dick Dale, it’s easy to tell why they have lasted as long as they have.

Satan’s Pilgrims’ new release of Frankenstomp consists of a mix of musical treasures that can be found on the many different releases created over the years by the band as well as live tracks and even a demo. The live tracks on the release include “Haunted House of Rock” and the album’s title track of “Frankenstomp”. The two live versions allow the listener to experience just a snapshot of what it would be like to catch the band live in concert. While the studio tracks on the album show the writing and playing abilities of the five members of the band, the two live tracks included in the release show what the members of the band can do on stage and the tracks give the listener an even better glimpse into what makes Satan’s Pilgrims such an interesting band.

Along with the twenty main tracks, Frankenstomp includes several “bonus tracks” that help to add value to the package as a whole. One of the bonus tracks that is really interesting is the radio commercial that had been created for Satan’s Pilgrims’ most recent studio release of Psychsploitation. While the band somehow overlooked adding any of the songs from that album to the tracks of the Frankenstomp release, the inclusion of the commercial for the Psychsploitation album at least gives those familiar to Satan’s Pilgrims music and the new audience to the band a reason to check out that album.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the entire Frankenstomp release from Satan’s Pilgrims is the final six tracks on the album. These six tracks make up both sides of the band’s very first release. The inclusion of the original six-song cassette from the band allows the listener to see just where the band started out. One of the shining highlights on the six-song release is the band’s version of the Santo and Johnny classic “Sleepwalk”. As you listen to these early songs from the group, you get the feeling that the band really had gelled rather quickly.

It’s not often that you get the opportunity to delve into a band’s history the way you do with this album. Each track on the Frankenstomp release from Satan’s Pilgrims shows slightly different sides to the band’s collective personality. With each song, you hear different influences come through that helped to shape the band’s sound over the years. And while the music from the band is the most important element to the release, the different sources within the band’s musical catalog used to create the album also help to make Frankenstomp a “must hear” album. Whether you currently are a fan of Satan’s Pilgrims or you have yet to experience the band, Frankenstomp is well worth the time to check out.

To hear the song “Frankenstomp” from Satan’s Pilgrims, click on the link.

Click on the album cover below to purchase a copy of Frankenstomp from Satan’s Pilgrims.

Frankenstomp

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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Lords of the Highway “Death Before 2nd Place”

Lords of the Highway have been together for over twenty years, adding a lot of rock and roll power to the music scene of the city of Cleveland. The band is composed of singer/guitar Dennis Bell, Jim “Jimbo” Hissem on bass and Joe “Jocephus” Hissem on drums. In the two decades the band has been together, you easily could have seen the band perform in one of the many music venues around town, no matter where you are in the Greater Cleveland area.
 

Lords of the Highway is a rockabilly trio that keeps the traditions of that style of music alive, adding their influences to the music. The band takes a lot of their style from bands like the Stray Cats and adds some of the playing of people like “guitar god” Dick Dale to their sound, all while including more than a few elements of horror to their lyrics. When you combine all of these various parts of the band’s music together, you get a very unique, and very dark, style of rock and roll.

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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Eleven Dollar Life “Shatter the Silence”

Chicago, Illinois is the home for one of the most eclectic rock bands in the United States, Eleven Dollar Life. Eleven Dollar Life is a five-piece rock group that has taken many different influences and genres of music and blended them together to create the band’s unique rock sound. This sound was developed by the members of the group who are: Bryan Pray on vocals, Chad Wynes on guitar, Marc Gee on keyboards and vocals, Eli Namay on bass and Kyle Voivodas on drums. Taking styles like grunge, jazz, blues, hard rock and much more, these five musicians help create the music that is unique to Eleven Dollar Life.

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Features

PIGSHIT: Endless Winter

With the Brian Wilson: Songwriter DVD still lodged firmly within the ol’ Pig Player, I pause to conduct a virtual poll in order to ascertain, on behalf of R n’ R Reporters everywhere, that traditional Yule-rock question… “WHY WOULD YOU REALLY RATHER BE LISTENING TO THE BEACH BOYS THIS DECEMBER 25th?”

“Because I live in Syracuse, and it’s gonna fucking snow until July. I’d rather be surfing!”
(Carl Cafarelli, This Is Rock n Roll Radio)

“Because two of my favorite bands, The Dukes of Stratosphear and The Pretty Things, have absorbed Beach Boy influences into their music.”
(Tina Max, Noise Magazine)

“Because KISS didn’t use any sleigh bells on their new release.”
(Pat Meusel, Sony Music Nashville)

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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Los Kahunas – Otro Reverberante Encuentro Con Los Kahunas

Rock music can take on many forms: There’s classic rock, British Invasion rock, punk rock, new wave rock, alternative rock, and many, many other styles. One form of the genre that is mostly overlooked (simply because of the dearth of artists contributing to it) is instrumental rock. Artists like Johnny and the Hurricanes, The Starfires, The Ventures, and Dick Dale once had plenty of company as other bands also created instrumental rock, but now there are fewer and fewer bands creating the music. One such band that is creating their take on instrumental rock is Los Kahunas.