This multigendered Phoenix fivesome is marching to its own drummer on FIESTA, offering a manic and ferocious hybrid of alt-rock and post-hardcore styles. Vocalist Kyle Howard evokes Mars Volta frontman Omar Rodriguez-Lopez’s high-pitched wailing, but musically the Stiletto Formal come closer to Sparta’s emo aggression. However, it’s the addition of string instruments, keyboards, and even the occasional guest rapper that truly makes FIESTA a party. And on songs like “We Are All Muckrakers,” they get all the elements just right--putting together something intense, nuanced, and even delicate.
AllMusic Review by Kenneth Herzog