Johnny Habu & the Rebel Salmon
(Rebel Salmon Records)
Not sure why Johnny Habu decided to kick off his latest disc with "Tuning," a droning song that sounds a bit like a dying elephant. Thankfully, the rest of the disc isn't as dissonant. The music here aspires to be something like the gypsy punk of Gogol Bordello. And it comes close. "Everybody's Dancing" features grandiose percussion flourishes and hiccuping vocals as Habu cackles and screams his way through the tune. "Circus Song" sounds like an old vaudeville tune played at half speed. The production is a bit rough, but the band's energy is undeniable. And Habu, who plays guitar, xylophone and organ on the album, proves himself to be an engaging ringleader.