Retro music can easily turn into nothing but a series of clichés, but it can also take some chances and put a new (or, at least, relatively new) spin on some old ideas. The Reventlos are retro in the sense that their primary influence is the instrumental surf rock of the 1960s. It's crystal-clear, however, that Songs of the Golden West, their second album, isn't an old Ventures, Dick Dale, or Surfaris album from that era. This mostly instrumental effort is essentially surf rock, but it's surf rock combined with everything from psychedelic rock and hard rock to punk and 1990s alternative rock. On "Mondo Reveltlo," the Reventlos even manage to fuse surf rock with elements of African pop and make the two seem like a perfectly natural, organic combination. This is a band of quirky, eccentric risk-takers; most of the time, their risks pay off on this intriguing, if mildly uneven, CD.
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