Diablo Swing Orchestra - 'No. 3: Pandoras Piñata' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     September 21, 2012    
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Third album from the eclectic, avant garde and wacky Swedish ensemble.

Third album from the eclectic, avant garde and wacky Swedish ensemble that mix together a wise range of influences and once again it has fallen to me to run my lugholes over what they have to offer (reviews of their previous albums having appeared in Fireworks #30 and #39).

Previously I have described DSO as being a “wonderfully different and hugely talented band” and one that includes an extraordinary diverse selection of music on their albums. Well, this time around, the sounds purveyed seemed to comprise a slightly lower variety quotient, although when you look down the track list and see titles such as ‘Voodoo Mon Amour’, ‘How To Organise A Lynch Mob’, ‘Exit Strategy Of A Wrecking Ball’ and ‘Honey Trap Aftermath’ you sure as hell know you are in for another wild ride!

And I’ve now been on that rollercoaster half a dozen times, and while I think it’s another really good album, and actually has more of a variety than I originally divined, it does not strike me as having quite the magnificence as their previous release (‘Sing Along Songs…’) It’s certainly a “busy” album and the basic octet is supplemented here by no fewer than ten guest musicians, providing all manner of additional instrumentation. I still gasped with amazement at some of the sounds coming from my speakers, and despite any reservations I might have, it is not an album that has lost its sparkle after those multiple listens.

There’s plenty of latino influence (ideal, therefore, for their recent tour of Latin America!) in opening numbers ‘Voodoo Mon Amour’ and ‘Guerilla Lament’ and the former is a great start to the album, Annlouice Loegdlund providing non-operatic lead vocals with supporting interjections from Daniel Håkansson. ‘Kevlar Sweethearts’ is one of those essential DSO numbers, wispy and sensual one minute, frenetic and angular the next. No other band is producing this sort of stuff! You will either find it (like me) utterly glorious; or, I suppose totally repulsive…

‘How To…’ is a brief instrumental into to ‘Black Box Messiah’ up-tempo weirdness that intertwines the two vocalists and what sounds like a horde of gremlins! The heavily percussive but charming ‘Exit Strategy…’ surprises with its twists and turns, and is a mid-album highlight. ‘Aurora’ is an operatic tour-de-force from Annlouice, while ‘Mass Rapture’ winds up into an eastern-flavoured excursion. ‘Honey Trap Aftermath’ is another irresistable stylistic meltingpot, ‘Of Kali Ma Calibre’ is a dramatic pot purri before mini epic ‘Justice For Saint Mary’ finally calms things down to some extent musically if not lyrically, before erupting for one final salvo.

DSO have unleashed another album for the adventurous listener. Clamber aboard if you dare…! You’ll either find it a treat or a torture. You must decide as this is music full of equivocation.

Paul Jerome Smith

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