A horrible hack

Hot New Mexicans

It's Called Leaning Back

Year Released: 2005
Format: CD
Label: salinas
Reviewed by Ian Scanlon on Jun 13, 2007
I made the mistake of looking at the inside of this CD's cover before I listened. Two things leapt out at me, a) trades descriptions would have a field day, as these chaps are definitely on the NOT side of HOT, and incidentally appear to live in Cleveland. b) the drummer has a Specials t shirt. So I'm in a quandary, the artwork doesn't look Ska, pencil drawings of people that look like they're in the old west, but dare I take the chance, will it be ska? Don't get me wrong I like the Specials, I like Lord Tanamo, I have a bunch of Trojan record,. but do I need to hear suburban white boys play ska in the 21st century? BUT hey Andy sends me these records to listen to, not fret about, so i popped the bastard in. AND! AND! it's GOOD. It's not ska! It's actually kind of indie rock/ alt americana very much in the vein of Okkervil River/ Clem Snide. The first track opens with some really nice Neil Young style harmonica and the whole record has a very nice low key rocking feel, it's all warm clean ringing guitars, tambourine and strained white boy vocals (very much a la OR). There's a distinct 60's/70's pop feel though, echoes of the third Big Star record, Badfinger, and maybe even stuff like Faces! Not perhaps everyone's bag here at collective but I must say it was a welcome surprise in amongst some of the absolute horseshit that i got in the post!

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