Music Reviews

Havalina

Space Love & Bullfighting

Tooth & Nail

Names dropped in the press release that came with this album: 11, including Igor Stravinsky, John Cage, Tom Waits, Johnny Cash, and The Pixies.

Actual number of songs here, out of 13, that sound like any of the above-named artists: 2, kinda. Not really, though.

Number of songs named for Russian cosmodog Laika that steal the opening to “Stairway To Heaven” and are completely ruined due to one crummy couplet (“And nothing ever seems strange / When you’re finally insane”): 1 (“Leica”).

Number of cute hemi-punk songs that nick Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark” without really meaning to: 1 (“I Feel Nothing”).

Does “Rocket Ship” have a pretty nice new-wave groove?: Yes.

Number of times I had to listen to this thing before I realized it was a concept album: 4, and even then I had to find out from their Web site what it was.

Is this is a real concept album or just an excuse to shoehorn references to space and bullfighting into an album about love?: The latter.

Does (shaky) singer-songwriter Matt Wignall seems to equate Mexico with bullfighting in a condescending way?: Yes.

Number of times I will play this disc for people, saying “You have to hear this incredible album”: 0.

AND YET: Do I think Havalina might have a really good record in them someday?: Maybe. They’re ambitious, their drummer Erick Diego kicks ass, Starry Dynamo is a pretty good guitar player (but she really shouldn’t sing), and they’re at least trying something different, even if it generally pisses me off.

Havalina: http://www.havalinaland.com


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