Algiers - ANTI-
FILTER Grade: 79%
By Kurt Orzeck on September 20, 2012
¡Qué lástima! After years of piquing the interest of culturally diverse audiences with their border-bending blend of alt-country and mariachi music, Calexico have put away the pico de gallo. Now, centrifugal forces Joey Burns and John Convertino are back to their earlier style of introspective, haunting acoustic strains. For Algiers, they ventured to—no, not Algeria, but rather New Orleans, where there is a neighborhood by that name. And this record has “post-Katrina” written all over it: As Burns whispers and Convertino gently brushes the drums on “Para,” you can picture an orange sun setting over the rubble, with a mossy mausoleum standing tall. The titular track, as well as “Sinner in the Sea,” find Burns and Convertino coaxed back to their mariachi proclivity, courtesy of some light trumpeting by longtime collaborator Jacob Valenzuela. But there’s no pulling them out of the abyss on this defiantly downcast Calexico record.