There's nothing more rewarding as a music fan than watching super talented people blossom into true artists. Amado Movado (Devious Ones, Bump-N-Uglies, Bill Bondsmen) has long been one of the finest guitar players in the modern punk rock world. In the early stages of the pandemic, he started the solo recording project Norcos Y Horchata as a means to hold on to his sanity. Before long, his pals Dougie Tangent and Roman Wonsul joined in. And just like that, Norcos Y Horchata was a real band! Recorded last summer with Jim Diamond, Forever Disheveled is the band's debut album and the first-ever release made up entirely of songs written and sung by Amado. Essentially this album is Amado's rookie effort as a frontman, and it's quite spectacular!
I previously raved about "Almost Lost My Thumb (to the Pinewood Derby)," a delightful sing-along tribute to Amado's grandfather. That was such an amazing song that I had to wonder: did Amado have more songs of that caliber in him? The answer is a resounding YES. Forever Disheveled is an absolute treat for anyone who likes catchy punk rock with a whole lot of grit. Amado takes quite well to being the face (and voice) of a band. His gruff everyman style perfectly suits lyrics that are honest, heartfelt, and down to earth. Musically, Norcos Y Horchata inhabit the shared space between the more tuneful side of street punk and the tougher side of rock and roll. Forever Disheveled conveniently arrives in this first week of summer and is best enjoyed in the company of good friends and the coldest, cheapest beer you can find. Over the course of these 10 tracks, Amado reflects on the consequences of his choices ("Forever Disheveled," "Clutter, Debt & Disarray"), dispenses some solid life advice ("There's Always Something New," "Oysters"), and laments a human race gone terribly wrong ("Chords Against Humanity," "...Out For Smokes"). Of course Amado has a knack for writing appealing and catchy three-chord rock tunes. Better yet, he's the kind of songwriter you can't help relating to. As he confronts his failures and shortcomings on the album's title track, he could just as easily be describing most of us. And on the timely "...Out For Smokes," he puts into words the thoughts that bring distress to almost any rational human at the moment:
Dropped on its head all at once/
And now it’s looking like some contest/
To crown the biggest dunce
We talk about COVID silver linings all the time, and Norcos Y Horchata is yet another example. This band may never have existed if Amado Movado hadn't found himself on the verge of losing his mind two years ago. He started writing these songs because he had to. Yet in spite of its despairing origins and moments of hard-to-swallow truths, Forever Disheveled is a really enjoyable and uplifting punk rock record. These are songs that are fun to sing along with -- perhaps even more so because they say something genuine about the present human experience. Amado the amazing guitarist is now Amado the amazing singer/songwriter, and we are all better off for it. LP ships in early August!