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  • Writer's picturePhil Kurut, Comedy - Cigars - Music







The Las Calaveras appears to be a well put together cigar with aromas of wood, barnyard, prune, and wine from the foot and wrapper. Not sure what kind of wine, as I’m not a wine drinker, but I’ve smelled wine. For all I know, it could be the Walmart special or some rare and obscure wine snob’s favorite. No clue.

Earth, dirty toast, and something sweet provide the intro of the Las Calaveras song. I hope it doesn’t turn into a rap song. As I’m about to describe the draw as smooth and easy, a bit of spice begins to join the tune, catching my attention.

I can’t tell if this is a guitar solo type of song yet. Definitely not a hair band guitar solo. I would take a Joey Santiago guitar solo any day. He’s the lead guitarist for the Pixies. They’re a rock band. They happen to be my favorite band. Again, I’m a plethora of information.

Muffled marshmallow adds understated percussion, and some fruit pops in some guitar accents. The type of accents you hear when you go back and really listen to a song. The singer has yet to utter a word. Long intro. Reminds me of a guitar player who used to write these long guitar intros, which went on for about a minute and a half, and then he would say, “Okay, this is where you come in.” The bass player and I teased him relentlessly, convincing him to keep his guitar intros to about 30 seconds. Still not sure who won that battle. Also, excellent smoke output.

Shoe leather pops in out of nowhere, apparently opting to bring a kazoo into the mix. Now, a kazoo can be a great instrument when used in the right spot, but it seems like it missed the mark. I would have preferred a theremin. Grossly underrated, but still to be used sparingly. That shoe leather fails to linger too long, and earth and spice share a subtle dance through the retrohale. Remember when ska bands had a random guy dancing on stage with them. Wonder how much he got paid.

Still no singer. Probably backstage drinking too much, which totally won’t affect his performance (big eye roll), or he’s ditched the band to become a world-renowned stomp poet. Not sure which is worse. Fruit lingers a bit, leaning towards grape and raisin. Makes sense. Sometimes juicy, sometimes not.

Shoe leather, out of nowhere, begins to completely steal the show here. Dang it. Is the bass player trying to compensate for the singer again? Ugh. So, we’re still in the intro, the bass player has cued everyone else to fade out, and it’s now just a bass line with the bass player trying out the song the rest of the band already vetoed. Dang it, Bob!

Here’s the thing, Bob. The song structure (burn, draw, smoke output) is solid. It’s the other stuff (shoe leather) that’s bringing the song down. Have you thought about not singing about your dog…in a high-pitched voice…with a bass solo underneath? Bob? Oh great. He’s reaching for the triangle. Where the heck is Damian?! He’s the singer. Apparently.

I really want to like this band. Mainly because I paid admission, and, also, because I paid admission. At this point of shoe leather, I would give anything for a minute and a half guitar intro. The bass player is now talking to the audience about improv soloing with a didgeridoo…which he’s never actually played. Bob, leave the didgeridoo alone. It’s actually kind of cool, and you’re just going to make me hate it.

Muffled shoe leather and spice. Bob now negotiates with the drummer to let him try doing some kind of drum solo while playing the bass, triangle, and didgeridoo. The sound guy slowly turns off the drum mics. Thanks, Henry. He’s the sound guy. Apparently.

I take a swig of chocolate milk. Now I’m getting some chocolate notes, which were not at all influenced by the chocolate milk I just drank. Just kidding. I don’t have any chocolate milk with me. Also, there’s no chocolate notes.

Well, this review might have went a little long. Must have been inspired by one of those prog-rock bands that feel compelled to relay a novel through their songs. “For our next song, a 30 minute ode to warlocks and martians. It’s in a crazy time signature. Clap along…if you dare! Thank you, Cincinnati!”

SMOKE TIME: 1 hr. 40 mins.

RATING: 1.75 / 4 - Cincinnati never saw it coming.

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