For the uninitiated, Calexico plays a particularly rollicking and ambitious form of southwestern-by-way-of-Mexico rock & roll. Consider "Sirena," a track off the aforementioned EP. Showing the band at its most emblematic, the song's shuffling salsa rhythm carries spaghetti-Western-style reverbed guitars, a choir of sonorous señoritas (sirenas?) and a cautionary tale told in a plaintive-but-lively manner. Like many of Calexico's originals, it's a rollicking good time. Convict Pool also contains a standout cover, a raucous embellishment of the Minutemen's "Corona." Mariachi trumpets replace D. Boon's guitar riffs, and singer/guitarist Joey Burns' sincerity is apparent with every word (unlike the irreverent use of the song as the theme for Jackass -- fuck those guys). And while "Corona" is certainly the best track on the EP, don't let that fool you into thinking that Calexico can't stand on its own twelve feet. Live, the six bandmates put on one of the most spirited shows you'll witness all year. Get your tickets now, gringos!
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