The real-life backdrop for Visionland, the recent release from Banditos, is the now-defunct $60 million theme park built in the late 1990’s in Bessemer, Alabama, near the childhood homes of several Banditos band members. The title track materializes slowly as the audio volume increases dual vocals speak their tale over psychedelic-dosed melodies and roller coaster rhythms. The tune sets a theme for Visionland as the Israel Nash/Ted Young produced album touches on the traumas of touring with the surf music inflected “Lonely Boy”, the barrel-ride beats of “Thick ‘n Thin”, the full throttle charge of “Fine, Fine Day”, and the slowly unraveling comeback from love in “Healin’ Slow”.
The band regrouped in late 2016 after a break from their non-stop two-year tour in support of their Bloodshot Records debut, recording Visionland at Plum Creek Sound Studios in Dripping Springs, Texas. Banditos channel a musical past in “Strange Eyes” with the track playing homage to Lone Star altered state heroes 13th Floor Elevator. Visionland softly waits out the weather with “When It Rains”, spits out a story over a runaway rock’n’roll beat with “DDT”, and stays “Still and Quiet” on a rhythmic rumbling dream as Banditos hand over a resume for love on the funky chords of “Fun All Night”.