Made In Mexico Zodiac Zoo

Whoever thought a band would come along and combine elements of modern no wave, noise rock and freak-folk into one single, crazy, catchall sound? Well, Made In Mexico have (on some songs, anyway, like the killer opener "Farewell Myth”) and somehow it works — really well. Comprised of ex-Arab on Radar guitarist Jeff Schneider, rhythm section Dare Matheson and Jon Loper of Providence psychedelic freak ensemble La Machine, plus singer Rebecca Mitchell, Made In Mexico bring the heated no wave abrasion but combine it with compositional adventurousness that places them head-and-shoulders above that other ex-Arab on Radar post-punk flop-about of a band, the Chinese Stars. High on tension factors, scream points and anti-hip imagery (the vinyl version of this album features a wickedly cheesy pop-up, and the cover pictures the band having a garden picnic), Zodiac Zoo is an awesomely strong debut that features a slew of memorable tracks including "Occams Razor,” "Solanas” and "Napalm Springs.” There’s no filler here, just pure, rocking good times that won’t leave you hanging around bored, or in limbo like so many other bands of this ilk. (Skin Graft)