Joe King Carrasco y El Molino

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Crazy From the Heat

Joe King Carrasco y El Molino

Rucca (Anaconda)

Tex-Mex rock & roll instigator Joe King Carrasco continues his relentless run of self-releases with Rucca, the second consecutive disc employing his late-Seventies group El Molino, which today includes respected locals John X Reed, Speedy Sparks, Ernie Durawa, Augie Meyers, and Joe Morales. Rucca lays out exactly what we've come to expect from the exuberant New Wave act: a migas of oldies rock, Mexican styles, and silly Spanglish. Opening with two strong cuts, the infectious organ-led title track and Carrasco's ode to the sunny border state of "Chihuahua," the album then wears out with formulaic B-grade writing. A trio of sappy slow dances – "To Be Loved," "Because a Woman," and eye-rolling "On Top of a Teardrop" – land the King in easy-listening territory complete with romantic saxophone. Carrasco also triples-down on loosely metaphorical food songs with "Nacho Daddy," "Muchos Frijoles Borrachos," and "Tamale Christmas," but catchphrase fishing "Hasta Manana Iguana" and lyrical cop-out "Better Leave a Message" make you wonder if the frontman's said adios to the clever bilingual lyricism evident on last year's excellent Tlaquepaque. Rucca's an underwhelming sequel.

*.5

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