Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

THE IGUANAS – If You Should Ever Fall on Hard Times

2008-10-13

Described by some as R&B, Conjunto, and Chicano Rock - meshed together with various Latin styles - The Iguanas undoubtedly carry with them such an eclectic sound on their latest and Katrina influenced release. With their first effort since 2003's Plastic Silver 9 Volt Heart, the foursome from New Orleans begin on a high-note with the Rock N' Roll infused title track, If You Should Ever Fall On Hard Times. Led by Rod Hodges on vocals, this song has a certain "flair" to it that warrants no small amount of attention while it showcases Hodge's vocals as kind of a Dylan/Springsteen hybrid. Another strong piece is Okemah, arguably the best sounding track that again shows the diverse sound of Hodge's voice that sounds something like Mark Knopfler meets Tom Petty. The Instrumental The Beep has a fun and yet mischevious sound to it that reminds one of the theme from Pink Panther. Another standout on this album is the accordion driven Back in the Limelight that highlights the opportunity for second chances in life as the lyrics imply with the following line: "I've done my time, it's my time to shine." Like their former release, The Iguana's also offer their listeners three Spanish language songs with the strongest of these being Celos Con Mezcal. However, neither one of these three is especially exciting enough to warrant repeated listens. Pelican Bay is another track worth mentioning as it offers up a care-free and electric piano laced ode to a place near and dear to ones heart. Rounding things off, the recording ends on a rather positive and hopeful note on the love song titled Warm Sun. While not their greatest set of music, considering what the group went through post-Katrina, The Iguanas do provide their fans with a noble effort and should be commended for it. – Jeff Bouma

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