Latin Quarter

Long Pig

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When Latin Quarter disbanded in 1990, they left behind three fine studio albums and a compilation of hits, and odds and ends. Three years later, out of the blue, came this new release by the band, now slimmed down to guitarist/vocalist Steve Skaith, guitarist Richard Wright, and lyricist Mike Jones. Unfortunately, the spark that seemed to ignite the band in the past had left with the former band members. Skaith's melodies aren't as memorable, and the overall mood of the album is darker. It doesn't help that some of the nicer moments on the album resemble their past glories. Jones' lyrics are as biting as ever, and there are some gems to be found here, including "Bitter To The South," "Phil Ochs," and "Desert Rose" (featuring a guest appearance from former member Yona Dunsford). The world rhythms are more noticeable than before, especially on the African flavored "Graceland"-influenced "Church On Fire." Overall, the album seems to be one-dimensional, with all the songs blending into one another. And did I say that Skaith's melodies just aren't as memorable? Though this is not a complete letdown, it does not scale the heights that the band is certainly capable of. Perhaps they just spoiled us before?

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