If the Tom Waits-like “Lost in the Graveyard” is a yardstick, The Carnivaleros are a quirky outfit. The jazz-tinged, shuffling ditty creeps along with a great feel even as an accordion is used sparingly. The craziness ensues with the Parisian café-meets-trip-hop flavored “Gina Lollobrigida” with children acting as backing vocalists as times. It sounds as if it was meant for Cake to do for its sheer lunacy. But such lunacy works occasionally, and it does here…occasionally. The Carnivaleros lose the plot a bit with “Misery and Hope” which offers a bit of both while “Fools and Angels” brings to mind outro music by G.E. Smith when he was still dishing out filler on Saturday Night Live. To say the band doesn’t know which direction to go into is apparent with the ska-meets-polka romp entitled “Bazaar 54/Bus Stop”. However they do hit paydirt with the reggae/jazz approach to “Skinned Knees and Fishhooks” and the tango-ish “El Choclo/Over The Rainbow”. The biggest disappointment is the closing “Spook Waltz (Gesture Pie)” which heads downhill fast.
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