Calexico - The Thread that keeps Us

January 26th, 2018
(CD Album Review)


Threading through a range of styles

Calexico are and American band that like to fuse their styles, broadly speaking they would be Alternative Rock but that does not do them the full justice with Ambient and Country elements often put into the mix to give more of a distinctive sound. This is a pattern that continues with their new album ‘The Thread that keep Us’ which is, and this surprised me too, their ninth studio album, the first of which was released all the way back in 1995.

The album was recorded in a studio built from reclaimed shipping timber among other items of what would be salvage. But that sort of sums up Calexico always wanting to try something a bit different, which is to be encouraged when the musical landscape is still swamped with talent show winners who are often missing a lot of the “talent”.  We need more of these bands that write their own music in their own style.

From opening track ‘End of the World with you’ the record draws you in, with the country elements alongside quite a busy backing track, which is perhaps a departure from their more stripped back sound of some previous releases. Though it is still present in the instrumental and haunting track ‘Spinball’, this is an album with a nice variation of sounds so you never quite now what’s coming next.

To emphasis the varied nature ‘Flores y Tamales’ is a Spanish number giving you an opportunity to get your Flamenco gear and maracas out should you be so inclined. Which leads into a Jazz infused number ‘Another Space’ overlaid with trumpets. There are a lot of references to the state of the modern world, one that struck me being in ‘The Girl in the Forest’ – “somethings got to change, before everything disappears”, this is track that stops you and demands your attention.

Another ambient instrumental number ‘Shortboard’ is a bit of an interlude before the record draws to a close with the final two tracks ‘Thrown to the Wild’ and ‘Music Box’  both of which return to the more country side of their sound. Overall I was amazed was a mix of styles they put onto one record and it works perfectly. An album that I think can be appreciated whatever your normal style of music is. They are showcasing this album with a couple of tour dates in the UK at the end of March, if I was you I would get along. 

Review by Jon Cooper

Check Out! the lyric Video for 'Under The Wheels' Below...


Tour Dates