Almost 15 years since these two bands released the In The Reins EP, Calexico and Iron & Wine return to fuse their creative forces.
The flamboyant musicianship and genre-switching style of Calexico is largely in the background, although Joey Burns’ flair for spontaneous innovation is to the fore. At times, it feels as if the band are playing backing to Iron & Wine’s Sam Beam, who wrote five of the eight songs here. As a result, you have something that resembles a Father John Misty record in tone, and whilst the band are a fine accompaniment, you’re often left wishing they would push a little further.
The experimental Outside El Paso and three-song medley The Bitter Suite shine a light on the trio’s appetite for innovation, although mid-tempo Americana is largely the order of the day.
Daniel Dylan Wray