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Calexico: Feast of Wire

 
Calexico
Feast of Wire

I'm all about geographic band names. Portishead, Manitoba, Okkervil River: all good names and good bands.

Calexico? Well, needless to say, it doesn't exactly roll off the tongue a la Mountain or Magnetic Fields.

On the webpage for the real city of Calexico it says "Your International Business Address." Having worked in the banking industry, this statement reeks of money laundering (perhaps that why there's a picture of Dick Cheney walking into City Hall with a briefcase that says Halliburton on it) No, there isn't really, but I wouldn't put it past him; then again, why try and cover up things, he's the Vice-President, he can do what he wants. Regardless, while Calexico isn't the great geographical band name to come out, the album makes up for what the name loses.

'Attack El Robot, Attack' has a hint of jazz, a hint of late-night Moroccan street performers and a whole lot of funk. The album swings from simple acoustic guitar (Not Even Steve Nicks) to borderline cheesy Western (Across the Wire). 'Dub Latina' is, as its name suggests, a Latin diddy, while 'Whipping the Horses Eyes' is a synth driven song with minimal castanets in the background. It's one of the most eerie songs on a more upbeat album. 'Crumble' is a late night jazz blaster a la Gabor Szabo that has 007 tones to it. As a whole, the album is strong. This album has timeless qualities for its ability to bypass 'whats hot' and 'whats cool' and remain original in the face of so much crap. The only thing that isn't timeless is the name, but since its 'Your International Business Address', just drop them a few oil contracts and you can probably change the name yourself.

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