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The unexplainable

 by More Betty

La Chinga photos by tiina liimu

Summon the virtues of a 1970’s blues-rock supernatural. La Chinga debut a weighty self recorded-produced album with members: Carl Spackler on bass/vox, Jay Solyom on drums/vox and Ben Yardley on guitar/vox/theremin. This is “live off the floor, guitar leads and all, no trickery, what you hear live is what your gonna hear on the record” says Spackler. Their handle, La Chinga, essentially means heavy duty. “I had heard it only used a few times in my life, but every time someone dropped it, it was a very heavy, magic moment. So it stuck with me,” he says.

A combined history of bands: Spitfires, Lifetakers, Captain Dust, Midnite Dragon, Chinatown and John Ford, the trio possess an aptitude that could have gone in any direction. Somehow destined to unite, “I had a kool gig booked and the guys who were supposed to do it couldn't, so I asked these two hombres who I had crossed paths with before and, whoosh! Sparks! Electricity Mama!” he explains. Why the 1970 groove? “It is a natural thing, no pre meditation, no thinking, no stinking. As stoopid as that sounds, this is what happens when we jam.” To add, the idiosyncratic theremin resonance merely extends the very lore as “Yardley gets to use his arcane black magic hands of sorcery to wield and deliver the spirits to your ears.”

Big hitters like Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, MC5, Johnny Winter and Mountain come to mind. Instead, consider the obscure: St. Anthony's Fyre, Iron Claw, Bang, Leafhound and Sir Lord Baltimore. “I think we were more inspired by the bands from that era that made great music but never went anywhere,” he says and “there are a million of them greasy long haired knuckle draggin’ bands ... I love the kids who make their art cuz they got to, no hope in hell they are goin’ to the top, but fuck it. Go down swingin’, my old man always said!”

Ingredients like Evel Knievel and drive-in movies influence songs as much as ‘70s funk, black rock, old country, old blues and “anything real, raw, primal” he says. “We are fans of the sounds and flavours of the South” including other things like “burritos [and] surfing. I have written a lot of tunes while out in the ocean; you get the mind open out there. Harder to do in the big shitty” explains Spackler. As for the live show, what’s up with the blankets on stage keeping those big amps warm? “Mexican blankets affect the polarity of the amp tubes and create a spicy tone. It's an old mariachi trick … good vibes ... can any one get enough?”

La Chinga plays Nov 24th at the The Railway Club and Dec 14th at the Fairview Pub