PUERTO MUERTO – Jean Lafitte

What is the secret of a good record? Innovation often swings it, or even better the fine crafting of someone else innovation. It can be the pure buffing of production, or the raw excitement of something lo-fi and energetic. Pithy pointed lyrics, or heartbreaking senmtimentality. But Puerto Muerto seem to have hit upon a sure fire way of writing a classic. Write a song about a pirate. Who doesn’t love a pirate after all? Yaarrrr.

Jean Lafite – from “Your Bloated Corpse Has Washed Ashore” the UK compilation of their various US EP’s – is a rollicking song about piracy, fighting slavery and maintaining ones moustache. The whole album is a selection of dirty vignettes mainly about whoring and drinking, and as a compilation it is over long. But worth it merely for the singalong crescendos that Jean Lafitte provides, a spiritual brother to The Pogues . There is something fascinating in a character song sung in the wrong gendered voice, the sweet voice of the female singer in Puerto Muerto contrasts with her statement that she is an old man and has plundered the Spanish Main for years. I’ve been listening to it for a month and have probably slapped my thigh and gone “Aarrgghh” every time.