Mucca Pazza Safety Fifth

Mucca Pazza Safety Fifth
Make no mistake, Mucca Pazza are a novelty act. No matter how much passion and authenticity the Chicago band introduce to their music, it's hard to get past the point that they are, in fact, a 30-piece marching band. With their third release, the shrewdly titled Safety Fifth, Mucca Pazza inject a much-more playful sound into their mass brass and skins repertoire. Adding a liberal dose of electric guitar ("Boss Taurus"), accordion ("Last Days") and violin ("Tube Sock Tango") has helped allow Safety Fifth to sound more adventurous and sophisticated. Bringing in producer Brian Deck (Califone, Iron and Wine, Modest Mouse) to mix a pair of moody, low-energy tracks gives the album a sort of theatrical feel. But the strangest facet of Safety Fifth is its sinister undertones, which, although muddling Mucca Pazza's party march, at least gives Mucca Pazza an inventive sound, allowing them to steer clear of becoming the next Tilley and the Wall. (Electric Cowbell)