Havalina Space Love & Bullfighting

Space Love & Bull Fighting sounds like the lost album by Black Francis and the Pixies. Latin nuances, surf-y western guitar and keyboards, strong guy/gal vocal arrangements and snarly overtones carry this album from beginning to end. Havalina's style leans more toward giving lead guitarist Starry Dynamo (aka Mercedes Stevens) more of an equal share of vocal duties than Kim Deal ever got, their Latin influences show mucho mas than did the Pixies' and they have many more quiet and country-ish moments than the Pixies ever allowed themselves, but nevertheless the hand of Boston's greatest band figured greatly into Matt Wignall and company's songwriting and playing muse. On its own merits, Havalina have a trusty Southwestern desert-rock/pop sensibility that will likely hold its own in my record collection and be heard at many parties for years to come. A bit of a nice surprise were Dynamo's Bebel Gilberto impersonation on the "Girl from Ipanema"-sounding "Carlos" and the head-scratchingly diverse medley of the album closing title track. The Pixies are dead, long live Havalina! (Tooth and Nail)