It begins with the oh-so Kinks-ian jangle of title track “All Y’all,” full of vim, vigor, and cracklingly good guitars (think “All Day & All Of The Night” with a drawl). Gringo Star proves early on that next to nobody can shimmy and shake their way around a studio quite like they can. “Ask Me Why” is among the exhibits I submit to the jury for confirmation of said opinion. You can feel the sass from here, my friends. “You don’t even know what you done”, sing they, as the guitars wail sultrily away. “Come On Now” is just the cutest thing, sweet like those old ditties used to be, but with an ever-present undercurrent of naughtiness lurking just under the bounce. Much like those rapscallion Rod Stewart-led Faces, I wonder if perhaps the adage “good boys when they’re asleep” also applies to los Gringos.
“TransMission” offers a dreamy swirl of a breather from the madcap danceability of the songs before it. And yes, the Gringos also do near-ballads very well. But they’re undoubtedly at their best when gettin’ down, as in the dirty little “Holding On To Hate” and its scorching little guitar riffs. It’s a big bastard of a song, and it’s damn fine. “Don’t Go” calls to mind The Hollies (circa “Bus Stop”), with the jauntiness of the instrumentation and the synchronized vocal acrobatics. Hell’s bells, the whole dang record is sizzlin’.
The record has been out for a little while now, but it still sounds as fresh as a daisy if you ask me. Now, loving the Brit Invasion as much as I do, I might have been slightly inclined to love Gringo Star anyway. But I ask you, friends, does it really get better than a band that tends to sound like an early Kinks/Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs/Zombies/Herman’s Hermits hybrid? I’m gonna go ahead and say no, it most certainly does not. So in closing, friends, all y’all really need to give All Y’all a listen or several.
mp3: All Y’all (Gringo Star from All Y’all)