Calexico - Edge Of The Sun
When you’ve been around for nigh on 20 years it’s pretty easy to get stuck in a groove. Over time, Calexico have tried to avoid falling into a rut and their Tex-Mex flavoured indie rock has generally maintained its freshness. Adding guests like Sam Beam (aka Iron & Wine), Ben Bridwell (Band of Horses) and Neko Case keeps the mix alive on this their ninth album. After the European-inspired recording sessions in New Orleans resulted in 2012’s Algiers, the Tucson duo plucked the concept of the new album from a trip to Mexico. Whilst they’ve always had a central American influences - well, you would coming from Arizona - they now give a new prominence to a mariachi influenced sound.
That new significance of the brass instruments and feel of sun scorched Mexico is most obvious on new Latin party anthem ‘Cumbia de Donde’ and the mariachi band quality of ‘Coyoacan’. Present throughout are signifiers of that music, though there’s understated menace at times, notable on the compelling ‘World Undone’, while strangely Jamaican dub makes a somewhat unwelcome appearance on ‘Moon Never Rises’. Calexico never stray too far from their core sound though, a ragged guitar riff drives ‘Bullets & Rocks’ and steel guitar pops up on ‘When The Angels Played’. Edge Of The Sun is more Calexico than Algiers and long time fans will reckon that being a good thing.