Cruzados - She's Automatic

by Kevin Wierzbicki

It's been 12-years since Cruzados last released an album, but that was a live recording and really it's been more than 30-years since the guys put out a new studio album. Let's stop right here and say that it was worth the wait! She's Automatic can rightly be called the best album this Los Angeles outfit has ever put out. The lineup is different; founding members Chalo Quintana (drums) passed away in 2018 and Marshall Rohner (guitar) passed in 2005. In fact the only original member here is bassist and primary songwriter Tony Marsico. He's joined by guitarists Loren Molinaire and Mark Tremalgia along with drummer Rob Klonel and singer Ron Young of Little Caesar fame. The album opens with "On the Tilt a Whirl," a cut full of amusement park imagery that is really about being in the throes of a hot love affair, and Young relates that with relish. Young is just as fervent on the loping, Americana-flavored "Across This Ghost Town" and on the end-of-a-relationship "Nine Million Tears." Title cut "She's Automatic" rocks to a Bo Diddley beat; the cut is about a woman that has "looks to kill" but also, she's automatic because she's packing heat; either way she's going to get her way. "Son of the Blues" is a swampy blues rocker that at times recalls Dave Edmunds, "Long Black Car" is another blues cut while "Wing and a Prayer" boogies down the road to a hopped up rockabilly beat. Everything here is top notch; Marsico's songwriting, Young's vocals and the music laid down by a band hitting on all cylinders. Hopefully this isn't a one-off, but if it is it is one to be treasured.

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