Los Femurs - Modern Mexico
Record Label: Homespun Records
Release Date: July 2007
Childhood friends Rob Femurs and Colin Femurs make up the indie-pop outfit Los Femurs. The two characterize their latest release Modern Mexico as power pop. The songs are poppy and party-flask but not really with power plug-ins, more like with acoustic shutters. Their drumming is cheerfully rattling, their guitars are wired with a joyful rustling, and their vocals have an upbeat pulse. Rob and Colin share all duties of vocals, drums, and guitar parts. It is eerie how much the two sound and play alike. It’s really hard to tell them apart when they are performing. Their tunes resonate with a childlike giddiness and perky juggling vibrations like they were made for childrens' programs. I’m not up to date on kids programs, but if you ever imagined what the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles would sound like if they played instruments, Los Femurs would come close to your expectations.
Some tracks have a SoCal-pop feel like “Peter Wolf” and others are more east coast folksy textured like “Calgon.” Modern Mexico is actually made up of two parts. The first six tracks are brand new and the last six tracks are from Los Femurs' previous disc Jack Cafferty vs. Chuck Scarborough, the names of two news anchormen in New York City who worked on separate TV channels. Los Femurs' music is what you would imagine happens when you treat the folk-rock ramblings of The Smithereens with the acoustic rock coals of The Redwalls. Their song “Vitamins” brings out these two textures of folk-pop and acoustic-rock, while the lineup of rhythmic staggers on “Round and Round” are more beach party-pop vibed, and these guys are from Seattle by way of New York City according to their biography. Their music shows a lot of beach party-pop thematics and hooks with a circus-like juggling.
There is a retro pop/rock vibe in tracks like “Crazy Girl” and “Allison” that remind me of the music in pop culture films from the ‘60s like Beach Blanket Bingo and Pajama Party. There is naivety and innocence shown in their songs like in “Allison” when Los Femurs chant, “Allison, all is fine and you are always on my mind.” The perky ditty “September 1st” has hushed country tones peppering the acoustic rock shuffles and the doubling up of Rob and Colin’s vocals have flawless timing that is reflective of the Gallagher brothers from Oasis. The guitar and drum combinations roll into a happy-go-lucky groove and a rudimentary phrasing that shows a simplicity reflective of ‘60s pop culture rock.
Los Femurs' songs are optimistic, light, and able to lift people’s spirits. They entice listeners to clap their hands along to the beat and loosen their spines to flail along to the motions of the guitar flicks. The duo cites their musical influences as The Ramones, Minutemen, The Velvet Underground, Sebadoh, Jonathan Richman, and Lou Reed. That will assist you in understanding where Los Femurs' music is coming from and the goal which they aim to reach in their music. Their album Modern Mexico is retro with modern inflections and a contemporary outlook. The album is like an anti-depressant without side effects; it simply loosens rigidness that dampens your mood.