While 2004's Americano found the Peacemakers stomping their way through a blend of Southwestern roots rock and evocative storytelling, No More Beautiful World finds them taking a long siesta. Gone are the earnest ballads, the rock & roll swagger, and the storybook sparkle of Roger Clyne's lyrics. Filling that empty hole is a newfound appreciation for Jimmy Buffett, with a scoop of Mexican flavor thrown into the mix. As a result, No More Beautiful World is a lighthearted and breezy record; even when Clyne takes on the lackluster president, he does so with tongue-in-cheek relaxation, rechristening the Bush Administration "the goon squad" while guitars chime brightly beneath him. Elsewhere, he sings about Mexico's drug trade (the corrido number "Contraband"), examines America's love for material things ("Plenty"), and -- in one of the album's more clever moments -- delivers a narrative in which a pair of Special Ops soldiers decide to abandon their post and take an extended vacation ("Wake Up Call").
The band is in fine form throughout, particularly lead guitarist Steve Larson, who crafts a signature tone with his love for reverb and whammy-bar vibrato. Bassist Nick Scropos makes his studio debut with the band, having joined the lineup immediately after Americano's release, and drummer P.H. Naffah is as precise as ever. Nevertheless, No More Beautiful World has too many languid songs to measure up to its predecessor, and the album ends up being a suitable soundtrack for a summer day spent drinking margaritas in an inflatable swimming pool chair. Perhaps that's exactly what the guys wanted it to be, and heaven knows this independent band could use a break or two to catch its breath. But this simply isn't Roger Clyne's most work, and a handful of solid songs can't quench one's thirst for something on par with Americano.