Cigar Store Indians - El Baile de la Cobra
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El Baile de la Cobra (Deep South, 1998)

Cigar Store Indians

Reviewed by Stuart Munro

Although they are at bottom a rockabilly band, the Cigar Store Indians demonstrated on their 1995 debut they have an expansive notion of what a rockabilly band can do. Their follow-up builds and expands on that. To be sure, there's the straight tear-it-up rockabilly of tunes such as "Get on the Throttle" and "Yipin." But the group again throws in various wrinkles: the sax-driven vibe of "Tossin' n' Turnin';" the honky-tonking of "Little Things" (which is an original you'd swear is a '60's radio classic) and of "Forget;" the spaghetti-western twang of the instrumental "El Baile de al Cobra;" the rootsier-sounding "Heaven" and "Eagles Need a Push."

Throughout, the Indians manage to avoid sounding like a band with its finger in too many pies; on the contrary, there's a coherent sound manifested in all these forays. Songwise, there's some clever wordplay (for example, "big girl blouse" as a metaphor for a guy who never gets out of the house) strewn among little that strays from well-trodden themes, coupled with playing that reveals a band of rip-snorting tightness. Overall, this is a strong sophomore release.

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