CD Reviews


Los Po-Boy-Citos Brand New Dance (self-released)

Several Louisiana bands are blending music genres in compelling ways. Baton Rouge boasts the incredible Cajun and Western swing act Red Stick Ramblers, and now New Orleans can toot its horn about Los Po-Boy-Citos, a Big Easy moniker punning on the Spanish phrase “los probrecitos,” or “poor little things.” The name sums up what these musicians do so well, which is heap piping-hot, deep-fried Latin boogaloo into a hearty French baguette of crunchy bayou soul. They dig into Puerto Rican salsa master Bobby Valentin’s “Keep the Faith,” giving it jazzy, brassy, Bourbon Street blasts of trumpet, trombone and sax. However, spicy, upbeat originals such as “Long Way Home (Back to New Orleans),” more effectively showcase this septet’s Allen Toussaint-tinted soul music style. The sinister strut of “Dollar Bill” is a prime example of Crescent City funk played with heart and smarts. Order at ★★★★☆


The Queers Back to the Basement (Asian Man)

Despite an offensive band name and an album’s worth of even more offensive song titles (“Tit Fuck,” for example), New Hampshire’s Ramones-revivalists the Queers are, at their core, a wildly inoffensive, ultra-conservative pop group. Singer/guitarist Joe Queer does his best to obscure a hard-on for ’60s radio by employing a snotty, nasal snarl. But the hooks are irrefutable, from the driving garage-rock anthem “Everyday Girl” to the surf-waxed teenage lobotomy of “Outta My Skull” to the Mohawk-scalping takedown of “Keep It Punk.” Even the Peter Gunn-inspired spy-hunting instrumental intro “Rollerdog” is a winner. But it’s only when the Queers go “meta”—advising kids to retreat to the basement to spin old punk records and reminiscing about nihilistic, long-dead peers (“I Knew GG When He Was a Wimp”)—that they’re at their funniest and most heartfelt. Recorded in just 23 hours, Basement’s ragged glory is admirable. ★★★☆☆


Simian Mobile Disco Delicacies (Wichita Recordings)

British electronic duo James Ford and Jas Shaw create astonishing acid techno. It’s creepy, pulsing with crystalline textures that build into lethal storms. Whenever I get down on house music (see last week’s Tron: Legacy thrashing), I reach for this band’s two previous albums, especially the 2007 debut, Attack Decay Sustain Release. This time there’s much to absorb—two entire discs (the second being a bonus mixed version recorded live in the studio) of pounding club-targeted tracks that never let up. The song titles derive from foods SMD enjoys while on tour. But is there really such a thing as a “Skin Cracker”? Here, it’s a crispy, twitchy treat packed with coruscating energy. “Hákarl” (Icelandic fermented shark) hangs out on an apocalyptic, half-flooded dance floor, bubbling like a doomed diver. “Nerve Salad” only relents to offer spirit-rattling, interstellar carousel noises. Indeed, Delicacies will keep you full and satisfied. ★★★★☆

Suggested Next Read

The Next Three Days (R)

Movie Review

The Next Three Days (R)

Writer/director Paul Haggis’ prison-break drama is so full of plot holes that it defies all suspension of disbelief. Russell Crowe and Elizabeth Banks play husband and wife John and Lara. When Lara is jailed for murder, John takes a crash course in how to break Lara out. Haggis phones in the would-be suspense elements in favor of some heavy emoting from Crowe.