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The Carnivaleros

Lost in the Graveyard

(RootaVega; US: 2 May 2006; UK: Unavailable)

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.

Rating:

Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide, Billboard.com, NME.com, Country Standard Time, Skope Magazine, Chart Magazine, Glide, Ft. Myers Magazine and Celtic Heritage. A graduate of the University of King's College, MacNeil currently resides in Toronto. He has interviewed hundreds of acts ranging from Metallica and AC/DC to Daniel Lanois and Smokey Robinson. MacNeil (modestly referred to as King J to friends), a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, has seen the Rolling Stones in a club setting, thereby knowing he will rest in peace at some point down the road. Oh, and he writes for PopMatters.com.


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