Not the first CD by the Banditos, but it feels like it. The eponymous debut album was largely recorded alone by Darren Riley (Pancho), with brass overdubbed by Jay Shepherd and Dick Perkins. By the time it came to record Five Songs For Oscar, the band had evolved into a six-piece with a permanent bassist and drummer, and Jay's brother Ben joined on second trumpet.
The songwriting has matured and two of the songs were written (or co-written) by Dick Perkins, who's sense of humour is even more odd than Riley's. Soup Song, a track inspired by Chilean writer Isabel Allende, is a perfect example of Perkin's ability to spot a song in any subject; even a soup recipe. Other topics include Mexican wrestling, a haircut gone tragically wrong and a love affair between two Mexican cowboys; you can't say the Banditos are stuck for things to write about!
With a fuller band sound, greatly helped by live drums (as opposed to programmed) and a larger brass section, this E.P. is a great step forward for the Banditos. Whilst maintaining the ethos of good songwriting combined with humourous lyrics, the songs manage to be funny (aside from the serious Two Caballeros) without ever risking being given the dubious title of 'comedy'. The band has developed the original ideas of the debut album whilst never losing their focus - to play music and have fun.
Enjoy your listening amigo.