Yes! Tommy Guerrero’s revered Return Of The Bastard gets its first ever vinyl reissue. Endearingly simple but beautifully beguiling, it's lo-fi dusty break business with the most elegant guitars this side of Vini Reilly and Gabor Szabo. Tommy's breezy drum-machine guitar-soul should be prescribed to soothe an aching world. By rights, he should also be a Balearic god. Here's 14 tracks of drop-dead laconic beauty, all of them combining to create this unheralded masterpiece. Working with Tommy directly, the LP has been fully remastered and sounds as dazzlingly, heartbreakingly beautiful as it did back in 2007.
Coolly opening the album, "And The Folklore Continues" can be said to be both a titular and actual nod to his past work. As ever, there's heavenly Latin guitar stylings that make you swoon and the melancholic vibe is accentuated by the addition of some melodic wordless vocals from Tommy. Just divine. The sparkling "La Califas Perdido" follows, all dreamy melodic guitars and twinkling vibes over dusty drums and a fine bassline. The shuffling, conga-assisted "I Would Go With You" is a gentle, romantic gem whilst the brief but beautiful "No Time For Time" feels in a hurry to let us know that Tommy can work with more propulsive rhythms. In this case, they underpin Tommy's gorgeous, shimmering guitars wonderfully well.
The head-nod funk of "Calling For Ya!" (get it?) features Curumin delivering the clever title as a hypnotic vocal refrain peppered throughout, all hung around some buried spoken word vocals and gorgeous cello work from Lenny Gonzalez. "Bloodinthemud" is a low-down gritty funk workout whilst "Zapata's Boots" is a total low-key groover, all Latin percussion and Morricone muscle aided by a whistled Spaghetti Western melody. The startling instrumental "Mosaic Man" closes out the side with a lean slice of mellifluous, virtuoso guitar bliss.
The reflective "What Have I Been Doing Since I Was Gone?" opens the B-side in glorious fashion, the type of melancholic melodic head music that should soundtrack a bright walk on a cold winter's day. The hypnotic groover "Paper Switchblade" is a razor-sharp fuzz-funk whilst the beautifully downbeat "Never Forget To Remember" is a kaleidoscopic kalimba-koolout. Galloping cop-funk breaks workout "Run With The Hunted" is a rollicking ride and it's followed by the fresh chiming guitar funk of "New Terrain".
The upbeat and bright "40 Summers", featuring congas from Alfredo Ortiz, is as clean and poppy as Tommy gets and it really is a look he wears incredibly well. Just straight up guitar pop. "The Simple Man" a gorgeous, melancholic ballad, closes out the record with deeply yearning vocals from Tommy, a rarity and a treasured one at that.
Meticulously remastered and cut by both Simon Francis and Cicely Balston respectively, it has been pressed to the highest possibly quality at Record Industry in Holland. The original and iconic sleeve, designed by Natas Kaupas, has been restored here at Be With HQ as the finishing touch to this long overdue re-issue.