Brave Combo The Process (Rounder)

SXSW Records

Record Reviews

Brave Combo

The Process (Rounder)

Having survived the coming and going of the lounge fad, the swing fad, and more than a dozen years before that with no fads to support them, Brave Combo long ago proved themselves to be the square cousin who's more than worth inviting to the party. Always ready to throw a curve, the polka-happy Denton combo have followed their recent releases such as Group Dance Epidemic, a collection of rocked-up ice-cream-social favorites like "The Bunny Hop" and "The Hokey Pokey," and last year's Grammy-winning Polkasonic with the more mainstream pop sound of The Process. While hardly as shocking as Dylan going electric, The Process definitely reveals another side of Carl Finch and his Combo, showing how effortlessly this well-versed band can soften various world dance musics into radio-ready tracks like "I Love You" and "Golden Opportunity." Unfortunately, no matter how you slice it, the result is an album that, despite carrying its share of catchy tunes and pleasant love songs, is somewhat less compelling than the Combo's other releases. However, the reverse of this formula -- injecting a trad beat into classic rock chartbusters -- has long been their forte, and the album's absolutely majestic bossa nova-fied take on Foreigner's hit "Double Vision" is guaranteed to inspire much pushing of the repeat-play button. (Wednesday, Mar 15, Iron Cactus, 1am)

***

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