A Feast Of Wire is an instantly & immensely likeable album based on the strength of its musicianship and because of its remarkable diversity. Calexico is able to shift effortlessly between funky instrumentals, dark ballads, and everything else shaken with folk, country, jazz and mariachi. It all sounds like a bit much, but the feeling from the album is very warm and familiar throughout. It’s the type of album you can put on during a dark winter night or a lazy summer afternoon (I have done both already).
The warm tone of A Feast of Wire is set by opener “Sunken Waltz” that conjures up images of a dusty dance across the desert. Joey Burns' voice sounds fragile and beautiful but never breaks. The almost whisper vocals of “Quattro” are backed by a locomotion groove that chugs along before being swallowed up by Calexico’s horn section. “Black Heart” is a dark, sweeping ballad complete with a string section urging us toward the end of the song. Without skipping a beat Calexico then tosses off “Not Even Stevie Nicks” that teases along before crashing into the highly memorable chorus complete with Burns best falsetto.
Even though the beginning of A Feast of Wire is loaded with more non-instrumental tracks the flow later on the album is seamless. It certainly helps when the instrumentals include the trippy B-movie vibe of “Attack el Robot! Attack!” or the ultra-cool jazz roll of “Crumble”.
After listening to this album it’s almost like I’ve been to the Southwest; sipping Cervezas at sunset in a dusty bar and listening to some house band in the corner named Calexico. At least that’s the way I picture things to be in my head. Perfect. - Wyatt