Langhorns Mission Exotica

Sweden's Langhorn's play guitar-based surf with an exotic spy soundtrack edge that also effectively implements horns, organ and bongo drums. These guys have been at this for over ten years now and the crisp, energetic playing on these 13 short but sweet tunes really shows it. Things get off to a fuzzy and mysterious start with the aptly named "Spybeat" with its spot-on female Star Trek-style vocals and hypnotic riffing while track two, "In Your Fez," takes us on a spicy trip through a Moroccan marketplace. This pleasant shift from style to style continues on through the album with the Link Wray-esque "El Nino," the more traditional surf sounds of "Checkpoint Charlie" and the tough rock horn-fuelled blow-out of "Las Vegas Fist Fight." The key to the sweetness of this album is that while the playing and songwriting is fairly sophisticated it still retains the immediacy and excitement really good instrumental music requires. (Bad Taste)