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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Feast of Wire

Calexico

2003

Buy At Rough Trade
Feast of Wire
Album Summary

Feast of Wire is the fourth studio album by American indie rock band Calexico. The album was released on June 18, 2003, through Quarterstick Records. The album was included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. Joe Tangari of Pitchfork called Feast of Wire Calexico's "first genuinely masterful full-length, crammed with immediate songcraft, shifting moods and open-ended exploration," and "the album we always knew they had in them but feared they would never make."

Wikipedia

Rating

3.3

Votes

10729

Genres

  • Rock

Reviews

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Wed Mar 15 2023
4

Somewhere between Wilco, a Mariachi Band, and a soundtrack to a western. I. Was. Here. For. It.

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Sat Mar 18 2023
4

Calexico always made me wonder why there wasn't more mariachi-infused indie rock. But then if that were a subgenre, none of the other bands would have been as great as Calexico.

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Wed Feb 07 2024
5

Bluesy, folksy, country, latin infused indie rock. This shit rocks. Its just exactly what i needed. Its not a 5 as in its perfect but its a 5 as in where has this been all my life

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Wed Feb 28 2024
5

Now THIS is why I signed up for this. Music I've never heard from a band I was only vaguely aware of, and I'm absolutely loving it.

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Tue Mar 14 2023
4

I love the mood this album sets, like an indie mariachi road trip.

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Sat Apr 15 2023
4

This album is a very consistent and engaging mix of indie rock, mariachi, jazz, alt county, and just about everything else. The guitar work in particular stood out to me, especially the jazz guitar in the penultimate track. The album feels spacious and has enough room to let melodies linger and for musical ideas to slowly and fully develop. This music truly inhabits the feel of the southwest in a way that captures the expansiveness and occasional tumultuousness of that region.

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Thu May 18 2023
5

What is this? Post-alt-country!? It's wonderful, I love it! 😻 I'm a huge fan of albums that go out of their way to be cinematic, or dabble with multiple genres, and this album does both of those things well. I haven't really listened to Calexico before so this is a great discovery for me - that's what this project is all about! Fave track - "Black Heart" - those strings are positively trip-hop! "Close Behind" sounds like a spaghetti western soundtrack, "The Book and the Canal" sounds like a revisionist western soundtrack, "Attack el Robot! Attack" sounds like Tom Waits, and let's say "Corona" for that mariachi feel....

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Tue Jun 06 2023
5

Wow this is fun and unique! I think my lips began to chap halfway through this album from the desert heat. I love the vivid landscapes this album paints in my mind. I love it!

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Thu Mar 07 2024
5

Goddam, I love this album. Bought it the day it came out after a rave Guardian review, then moved to Tucson 2 weeks later (Hume might object to the structure of that sentence). What an incredible, atmospheric soundtrack to a pivotal time in my life. Even used to eat at El Guero Canelo on occasion! Their best individual album by far, so dramatic and tuneful, vocal and instumental alike. Mariachi-indie rules.

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Sat Mar 25 2023
4

This is really good. I'd not even heard of the band and expected to dislike but the variety and catchiness of the songs are undeniable. I found myself playing this through 3 times. There are a number of styles here but it's assured and professional. Impressive.

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Wed Apr 05 2023
4

8/10 dang that was so cool and creative! super neat!

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Wed Sep 20 2023
4

Calexico was a group I was only slightly familiar with and was not expecting what I ended up hearing. I really enjoyed how varied this is and was struck by how well written and recorded each song was with each track offering something special. I was also surprised by the amount of instrumentals ranging from really fun to really weird. I wouldn't mind going back to their previous albums to capture a bigger picture of this one.

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Wed Mar 29 2023
5

Me listening to Feast of Wire for the 5th time in a row: "God damn that is good. Shit, that's fresh." But in all seriousness, hadn't listened to this in many years and I'd forgotten how freaking good it is. Glad it made it onto the list too, most of the stuff I was obsessed with in 2005 did not lol. It has "filler", but even those are hella good tbh. A jewel of the 00s, straight back into the rotation. 5/5

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Sat Apr 08 2023
5

Wow what an interesting album this was. Had a bit of everything! Felt like an indie rock band with a lot of mariachi flavour mixed in. Wikipedia has it listed under the genre "Tex-mex" and yeah, couldn't put it better myself. A bit of folk and country, a bit of mariachi, a bit of jazz - A highly interesting album. Some of the songs here were a little too slow for me to really get into, but I liked this album a lot regardless. Favourite: Quattro - World Drifts In

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Sat Apr 29 2023
5

Highly surprised by this. Loved the Latino feel to it. Super interesting and unique!

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Sat May 27 2023
5

Never heard of them before. Will really enjoy listening to this multiple times I think, was just a very pleasant experience!

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Fri Jun 02 2023
5

Never heard of Calexico before and was very impressed by this. Lots of fun, a great blend of genres that kept things interesting without seeming too scattered, and a well-paced mix of songs and instrumentals. Will definitely be revisiting this and checking out some of their other records. I feel like after a couple of listens this would probably drop to a 4 but just from a first impression I’m going high

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Tue Jun 06 2023
5

Outstanding! Eclectic mix of great songs. I am quite well-taken with this one.

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Tue Jun 06 2023
5

Well, okay, that was pretty great.

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Tue Jun 27 2023
5

Really didn't know what to expect but enjoyed this a lot. Kind of a west coast Iron and Wine with some Latin flair in the instrumentation. Would absolutely put this on again and hope to see more from these guys.

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Sat Sep 02 2023
5

First track had me thinking, another dang country album, which really didn't fit the cover art. As the tracks progressed I was hooked. What is this album? I had no idea Indy rock Mariachi was a thing. I listened thrice and told a few people about the discovery. By my well defined scoring system, that's a five. Great find.

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Fri Sep 22 2023
5

An unexpected treat. I was unfamiliar with Calexico and went into the album pretty blind. What a delight it turned out to be! The mariachi infused indie/jazz/folk offerings here are splendid. I found myself listening to not only this, but a whole number of Calexico albums as I got lost in their pretty unique sound. This album was awesome and has turned me onto a band that I apparently really love.

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Sun Oct 08 2023
5

Went into this blind, and wasn’t too sold on seeing the album art. Boy, was I wrong. I loved the sad, solemn feel; western noir was a good way of putting it. Really wish I would have found this band when I was going through my angsty indie teens. Reminds me a lot of Bright Eyes, Neutral Milk Hotel, etc. Very cool lesson about not judging a book by its cover.

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Thu Jan 11 2024
5

I enjoyed this album enough to listen to it all afternoon! I’d describe it as breezy, sometimes haunting, sometimes sexy, sometimes sweeping, and sometimes… mariachi? It made for an interesting listen by mixing indie rock with such a Latin flavor, and, well… I LOVED it.

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Mon Mar 18 2024
5

Maybe it’s the horns or maybe it’s the damaged woman on the cover I want to make my wife but I loved this album

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Tue Mar 14 2023
3

Nice surprise. Very diverse and has some original sounds.

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Fri Apr 14 2023
5

OMG thank you for reminding me of how awesome Calexico are.

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Thu Jun 01 2023
5

Un impresionante álbum que combina lo mejor del country y la música mexicana; en una fusión impresionante de estilos que funciona como reloj de precisión atómica. Increíble, una verdadera experiencia sonora.

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Wed Jun 21 2023
5

Sonzao bem interessante, ambientação orquestral e atmosfera

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Tue Jun 27 2023
5

Not sure why but I enjoyed the music today

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Mon Aug 14 2023
5

Very good album. A hidden gem for sure. Very eclectic

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Thu Nov 09 2023
5

Well that was suprising. Well done and a great listen.

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Thu Nov 16 2023
5

Surprisingly good country music

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Thu Dec 07 2023
5

I had no idea what to expect, but I ended up really enjoying this. No funny review this time because I listened while working and haven't any deep thoughts.

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Mon Dec 18 2023
5

Favorite Tracks: Sunken Waltz Quattro - Worlds Drift In Attack El Robot! Attack!

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Sun Dec 24 2023
5

Serene indie folk rock with heavy acoustic guitar and sometimes Mexican classic guitar riffs. The songs that did have singing, complemented the tasteful instrumentals. A unique album that showed a great amount of range stretching from genre to genre. 9/10

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Thu Dec 28 2023
5

Very unique blend of genres! I hear some western, trip hop, mariachi, pop and country. Great crafted songs and the singer is very good! Standouts: Quattro (World Drifts In), Black Heart, Woven Birds, Attack! El Robot! Attack!, Across The Wire, Alone Again Or, No Doze 8,5 out of 10

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Thu Jan 11 2024
5

Loved this album! Listened twice and looking forward to listening again! Loved the fusion of sound and the overall mood of the album!

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Fri Jan 19 2024
5

The album is really varied in its music type, it was really nice

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Wed Mar 27 2024
5

Ugh I love aughts indie so much! I somehow never listened to these guys but they're fantastic. I really enjoy when indie bands infuse a bit of alt-country into their sound like this. I will definitely have to listen to them more.

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Wed Mar 27 2024
5

What the fuck did I just listen to? That was unexpectedly really good. The album cover does not do it justice.

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Fri Apr 05 2024
5

Saw them perform the anniversary tour last year. Slam dunk.

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Wed Apr 10 2024
5

Wow....this is exactly why I started this journey. The genre blending and instrumentation are very interesting and refreshing. Excellent album all the way through.

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Fri Apr 12 2024
5

A beautiful and sumptuous album that follows many musical threads and weaves them together masterfully. Areas rarely explored in Indie popular music. It feels cinematic and gritty at times. I can’t think of many other albums like it.

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Tue Apr 16 2024
5

It's been a while since I gave a 5 and I really like this music. Not going to look up why the bands name and cover is terrible just going to be in a good mood today.

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Tue Apr 16 2024
5

arvoisa neitos ruovas ja herraväki... näin tehdään albumi..

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Mon Apr 22 2024
5

This is exactly what I signed up for. A band that I've never heard of, with album art that I wouldn't look at twice, yet it's an amazing listen. I'm not even sure how to describe this - western indie folk? The songs are given space to breathe and grow. It's atmospheric and even cinematic. You can't help envisioning scenarios while listening. I love this.

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Sun Apr 28 2024
5

Really cool and cinematic and western-y

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Mon Apr 29 2024
5

Cool fucking jazz with some latin

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Tue Apr 30 2024
5

This album really surprised me. Judging the cover alone, this is an album I'd pass on 10 out of 10 times. I expected either a female singer or something more latino, if not both. What I got was something that blends of many bands I like such as Death Cab, Flaming Lips, and Beck. Where the postal service went more electronic in 2003, here was this band pulling out cellos, accordians, and an array of other horns. Had I known about this band back 20 years ago I think this would have been right up there with Give Up for my tops. The volume of tracks and variety also make this album special. It's a mix tape of so many different styles, going from a dramatic bond-theme type song, to Mexican, and instrumentals, and then some alternative/indie tracks and more. All are solid tracks and may not be the best individually, but this is an album that is made better because of the collection of tracks here. Favorite track "Black Heart" 5/5

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Wed May 01 2024
5

Laid back rock from the high desert, Calexico has a ecclectic relation to genre, incorporating accordian waltzes, mariachi choruses, atmospheric post-rock psychadelia, jazz drumming and horns, emo melodies, dub melodica, trip hop ambience, some cumbia rhythms, folksy alt-country acoustic and high-lonesome slide guitars to create a sound that encapsulates the borderlands. It coheres perflectly into a spacious cinematic album that winds its way slowly around, settling into the songs gently, quickening the pulse with new instrumental layers, and calming back down with its whispered lullaby vocals. Without being a concept album, it takes you on a journey, like driving through the sprawling outskirts of South Western city, cruising through the strip malls feeling a saturday afternoon evolve into saturday night evolve, catching snippets of what's playing out the car windows, the weddings and bbqs and parties, the bars filling up and spilling out - there's a bit of filler in the in-between moments, but they're taking you to the next place.

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Fri May 10 2024
5

A brilliant, brilliant album. I am sad to say I had never heard of this album or even the band Calexico before, but I've seen and heard of them now. And I can't wait to hear more from them. Music like this can only be made by a group from the American southwest, and sure enough Calexico took their name from a town on the Mexican-American border. Just listening to these songs can transport you to the desert. I can almost hear the crinkle of cowboy boots against sand. My mind continuously conjured images of tumbleweed rolling across a vast landscape. That vastness contains a unique solitude which in my view can also be found in the music. Clearly, this record was heavily influenced by Mexican artists, which greatly enhances the music. The album is consistent, both in content and quality, but never feels repetitive. It is difficult to isolate any particular highlights or lowlights because there really aren't dips in quality. Overall, this is probably my favorite album I've heard so far from this list.

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Tue May 28 2024
5

Mexican waltz-influenced desert blues rock reaches American singer songwriter pop stylings to brilliant effect. I love this album. Has one of my all time favorite songs, Across the Wire. Mixing musical borders infuses the sound along with the physical border. Calexico uncovers the riches to be found there.

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Tue Jun 04 2024
5

I like this band a lot! Love the gentle fusion and the instrumentation blend with experimental. Wish I'd thought of it.

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Sat Jun 08 2024
5

I LIKE this! Pepita is where it really grabbed me attention after listening off and on and letting myself get distracted and whatnot. I would like to listen more intentionally. Especially after the transition from Pepita into the next track.. And the"heart full of hornets" line.

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Wed Jun 12 2024
5

This is what I’m here for. A band I’ve never heard of with an album that’s so easy to spin over and over again. I’ll grab a Sonora dog next time I listen to this one

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Sun Jul 07 2024
5

This is a great find. I have a new artist to follow!

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Wed Jul 10 2024
5

Really fantastic, unique indie album. Great acoustic tracks too.

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Sun Mar 19 2023
4

A mariachi infused American indie record. When it's good, it's great, but a few too many grout tracks and it tails off at the end. If it ended at track 11, Across the Wire, it would have been a 5/5. Rating: 4/5 Playlist track: Across the Wire Date listened: 18/03/23

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Thu Mar 23 2023
4

Slightly uneven start but ends up being an incredible record overall. Loved it. 4.5 stars

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Mon Apr 10 2023
4

Such an interesting blend of different styles. Latin, rock, power pop and a little bit of hot jazz? Very cool, and will probably return to this record.

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Mon Apr 10 2023
4

Pleasantly surprised with how much I liked this one.

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Mon Apr 10 2023
4

It was unexpected and easy to enjoy. Didn't particularly like to barking dogs lol but the blend of instruments and styles really put a great spin on the album

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Thu Apr 13 2023
4

The band name and cover for Feast of Wire belie Calexico's total vision of the project. That is, a listen makes it clear that something else is going on. But the base - cleanly-interluded and unique indie - is plenty strong itself. The album manages to sound completely of its era but also hard to make, then or now.

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Mon Apr 17 2023
4

Nice diversity! A little confusing at times because of the sudden change in genre. But great talent. They would be good at writing movie music

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Tue Apr 18 2023
4

Tex-Mex-inspired Americana country. Contrasting with the growing popularity of contemporary country, there was alternative country that was innovating on the genre. Feast of Wire conjures up images of the American southwest, now far removed from its cowboy days and finding it's foot in modern society and culture. I think the instrumental sections are some of the most interesting on the album, as they grab you and impress their influences the most out of any song here. However, Black Heart is easily the standout track.

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Wed Apr 19 2023
4

I didn't know what to expect from this but I really enjoyed it! I really appreciated the variety of song styles, some instrumental. A mix of tempos. Kept me interested. Thought it straddled the range of music themes so well Would listen again to this

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Wed Apr 19 2023
4

I have really enjoyed this album! There's a nice mix between traditional Latin sounds and then Americana country with some jazz and rock in there too. I love the variety in the different tracks, it keeps the entire album so interesting to listen to. This gorgeous instrumental track "Whipping the Horses Eyes" which is so emotional and harrowing blends beautifully into the bouncy jazzy almost black panther-esque bass which opens "Crumble", it's such a fun listening experience like listening to a really cool and edgy story. I wish this album was a film! I know it would be epic. Nice to be introduced to something so different from this list.

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Sat Apr 22 2023
4

Great combination of alternative rock and Latin/mexican music, unique sounding

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Wed May 03 2023
4

I haven't been able to give this album the attention it deserves today because I've been busy with work, but this feels like it could be a masterpiece. Such an interesting blend of music and very polished. I'm going with 4 stars for now but could turn into 5 on further listening.

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Fri May 12 2023
4

If there was ever a band that sounded like where they were from, Calexico would be one of them. Combining a Tex-Mex/Americana sound, I would guess they hailed from the desert or more specifically Arizona. They may not be ground breaking, but they bring together different styles and sounds for a very satisfying mix and pleasant listening experience. This album is an excellent showcase and well worth the time. I saw the band opening for Arcade Fire years ago and they impressed me, but the boomy sound of the large venue definitely made it difficult to hear and didn't do the band justice. I would much prefer to see the band in an intimate-size bar room in the desert.

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Thu May 18 2023
4

What a nice surprise. A journey indeed. Black Heart, total Portishead vibes. Close Behind, The Book and the Canal, Attack! El Robot Attack! are all great tracks.

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Mon May 22 2023
4

A good comfort album. I think they successfully brought the genre into the new century.

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Wed May 24 2023
4

I never heard of Calexico before, at least not directly. They may have been on a compilation or been on a soundtrack, but didn't jump out at me. That said, this is a good album. Its got great theming - This is an album of the American desert if I ever heard one - and a few tracks have replay-ability. 4/5

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Wed May 31 2023
4

Yeah it’s cool certainly a kinda unique style but no individual tracks have really popped out so 4/5

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Fri Jun 02 2023
4

Ik ken deze band van naam omdat dit de muzikanten waren die samen met een zanger Giant Sand waren, maar eigenlijk nooit de moeite genomen om goed te luisteren; ten onrechte, zo blijk! Prachtig plaatje.

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Mon Jun 05 2023
4

The originality of this album was superb, and the mariachi-western vibe was interesting and made for a fun listen. Some songs took longer to get into than others, but they were all good across the board.

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Tue Jun 06 2023
4

I very much enjoyed this charming, eclectic collection of songs.

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Tue Jun 06 2023
4

This is pretty amazing. Richly crafted and awash in musical influences. Just levels upon levels of sound and mood, an incredible flow from track to track, and an almost cinematic quality to the sound. Fave Songs: Quattro (World Drifts In), Sunken Waltz, Across the Wire, Attack el Robot! Attack!, Woven Birds, No Doze, Dub Latina, Crumble

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Sat Jun 10 2023
4

A capa é feia hein. Eu estava pensando, talvez eu pudesse ir rankeando de música em música, mas talvez isso fizesse eu perder o interesse de ouvir de novo uma música que eu não gostei agora, mas acharia boa no futuro, então vou continuar apenas dizendo se vale a pena reouvir o álbum ou não, ou talvez apenas citar as músicas que eu gostei agora. Black Heart: o som é cabuloso, faz eu me sentir na foto do single de Gold on the Ceiling, brabo. Por favor Eu do futuro, escute esse álbum de novo, ele é diferente de tudo que eu já ouvi, simplesmente a ambientação que ele passa, sei lá, é pesada, muito bommm mesmo, poggers.

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Mon Jun 12 2023
4

Such a WEIRD fucking album, but good weird. I can’t even give this album a genre. I went into this with zero expectations because of the album cover, but I was very pleasantly surprised.

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Mon Jun 19 2023
4

Listening to this made me feel like I was listening to the soundtrack of Ted Lasso. I enjoyed this and would almost describe it as a modern twist on Yacht Rock if that’s possible.

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