Babalao Stereo Club The Latin Bang Theory

Babalao Stereo Club The Latin Bang Theory
Toronto, ON-based quintet Babalao Stereo Club overlay the Afro-Latin-inspired rhythmic structure of their songs with elements of funk. This common thread keeps their debut LP from being spastic as it bounces from one style to another. One obvious highlight is "Sangre Africana," where a jazzy saxophone and a funky guitar are found taking turns while the band call out their rumba-inspired mantra, "Guaguanco!" Another pleaser is the humorous "Blue Collar Jobs" and its sarcastic lament about the plight of Canadian immigrants. The inclusion of a telephone message recording stating that there are "zero jobs available" adds a nice touch. Initially, the combination of samba with slap, wah-wah and pop guitar works on "Move Your Body," along with trite lyrics ("yeah, we like to party"), sounds just as comical, but then you realize they've actually pulled it off and the song is in fact ridiculously good. Not so successful is the aptly titled "Too Bad," which finds them exploring new wave territory in both English and Spanish. This is still a very strong debut for Babalao Stereo Club and with a few drinks and a packed dance floor, it might even be brilliant. (Independent)