Writer, Ian Wright
Have you ever wondered what it would sound like if a song tried to fry your brain? Or have you ever been curious about what goes on inside the Joker’s head? If so, then the band Don Salsa is for you.
Don Salsa’s only album, Koolaide Moustache in Jonestown is the most incredibly weird thing I have ever heard. It’s an album that changes genre from flamenco to death metal, then saunters over to a bit of operatic singing, then back to metal, and maybe takes a detour at traditional Arabic music. Oh, and did I mention that these shifts happen over the course of about 5 seconds? Koolaide Moustache in Jonestown is not an album you can try to decipher. You simply have to accept it as it is and embrace the sheer insanity of it all.
In my mind, there are two songs on the album that perfectly display its brilliance.
The first, and more accessible of the two, is “El Stronzolo”. “El Stronzolo” is a mariachi death metal song with elements of klezmer. Upon writing that sentence, I realize that accessible may seem like a poor choice of words, but trust me: your mind will be so blown that you can’t help but vibe with it. There’s also a musical easter egg in it that left me speechless for about five minutes. This song is about 6 minutes in length, and absolutely worth your time if you want to experience something entirely unique.
The second song is an absolute odyssey known as ”The Deck”. While “El Stronzolo” is the “listener-friendly” song off of this album, “The Deck” is a 30-minute dive into the most bizarre music you will ever hear. This song is where Don Salsa’s breakneck genre-shifts truly shine. One moment you’re enjoying some nice, soft jazz, and then all of a sudden, you’re thrown into avant-garde metal, followed by a detour into third-wave ska, a fly-by of surf rock, and a finale of pure, unadulterated noise. Any idea what any of those genres are? Listening to The Deck should help with that. This song cannot be listened to with any hope of grasping onto one melody or bass line, and that’s exactly why I love it. To me, there are no words to describe what this song feels like. It’s the most hyperactive, energetic thing I’ve ever experienced. It simultaneously makes me feel like I’m absolutely losing my mind, and ascending to a higher state of being. If you’re willing to put in the time it takes to listen to it, then I think you may understand what I am unable to convey through words.
I am confident in saying that no matter what music you have heard, Don Salsa will top all of it with sheer weirdness. If you want to venture into the deep corners of forgotten music and have a wild time doing so, Don Salsa is your band.