The Iguanas

Sugar Town

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This latest disc from the New Orleans group extends their hold as one of the most innovative and diversified groups around. Here they mix good old rock & roll with Tex-Mex rhythms, Latin beats and some Salsa thrown in for the sake of variance. This disc is filled with an infectious sound that makes you want to get up and dance. There is a great variety of textures on this disc and many different dances you can do -- why not cha cha to "Latin Kings," Salsa to "La Llanta Se Me Poncho" or two-step to "You Killed My Buzz"? The band draws on the diverse backgrounds of its various members: three of the five members are either contributing or combining various aggregates to pen all 11 tunes. The singing is done in either Spanish or English, and most of the songs contain translation verses so speakers of either language can understand the meanings (though words are not always needed as the mood is so strongly set by the music). Listen to the light, moody and relaxing sound of "Si Amanece Nos Vamos (In the Morning We Go)" and you can hear a sound of a Mexican beach with a wind just beginning to stir things up. There is a contained feeling on this disc as if they want to hold it back for some reason. Their live shows are a fantastic orgy of sweaty dancing that doesn't quite take off on this disc. That said, the disc is a solid effort that shows an advance in their very diverse and interesting sound -- quite a relief from much of the sound-alike discs being released in the late 1990s.

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