Plug Me In

As our merry cavalcade gathers momentum once again, today we find it roaring westward to the sultry climes of Los Angeles for a for a reggae rendezvous with some bequiffed Mexican punks.

Alongside the legendary Zeros, Tito Larriva’s Plugz ruled the roost of the Sunshine State’s late 70s Chicano punk movement, such as it was. They were the first LA punk act ever to start their own label, one of first punk acts ever to cover La Bamba, and almost certainly the only punk act ever to back Bob Dylan during a David Letterman performance.

Perhaps most notably of all however, Tito and pals have been lending their firebrand pop’n’roll to myriad cult film soundtracks and scores (Desperado and Repo Man among others) for years… though it is one of their decidedly less salubrious cinematic outings that factors into today’s SBB entry. Electrify Me – a lilting ode to the transient kind of love enjoyed by young punks in back alleys – became a fitting leitmotif for the eponymous hairgelled harem of the 80s porn “classic”, New Wave Hookers.

Despite its dubious associations, Electrify Me errs far more on the side of boyish charm than the lascivious posturing the above description may imply, and the result is a slice of gorgeous Latin-tinged reggae pop which bears a passing resemblance to Bad Brains’ Stay Close To Me. An earlier (and in my opinion, better) version provided the title track to The Plugz’ debut album – less urgent and more raggedly produced than the NWH version, it captures the essence of fumbling teenage encounters amidst a sea of graffiti and dog poo just right.

But don’t take my word for it:

Or Traci Lords’s for that matter:

And as for Bob Dylan:

(Dread Zed)

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