"Pandora’s Pinata"

By Lord Randall

On DIABLO SWING ORCHESTRA’s third full-length outing for Sensory, it’s a case of more of the same, with just enough difference thrown in to make it worthwhile. The blessing and curse of DSO, though, has always been that those who “get it” get it wholeheartedly, while those who don’t, likely never will. Which is a loss on the part of those who don’t, because "Pandora’s Pinata" is every bit the rollicking, ragtime, rabid and rockin’ music we’ve come to expect from DSO.

Opener ‘Voodoo Mon Amour’ swings and sways, conjuring up Nawlins jazz (thank you, new brass section!), giving even fabled Treme a run for its money, while ‘Guerrilla Laments’ welds jungle (think drum and bass) beats to Annlouice Loegdlund’s frantic yet airy vocals, her voice seeming to rely on itself more with each passing album. ‘Kevlar Sweethearts’ really didn’t tickle my trombone, nor the filler instrumental ‘How To Organize A Lynch Mob’, but ‘Black Box Messiah’ brought things back into line, being as it is the bastard spawn of an unholy union between THE PRODIGY (when they were good) and LADY GAGA at her most helium-fuelled. ‘Aurora’ is majestic and pretentious, but it works for DSO. I can’t swear it would for anyone else. Middle Eastern rhythms and melodies join tribal chants and a precise Groove – capital G, natch – to create one of the most frenetic tunes in the DSO canon, fiercely hypnotic.Of ‘Of Kali Ma Calibre’, let this be said: Djentlemen…you’ve got nothing on the quirkiness at work in this. ‘Nuff said.

In closing, Pandora’s Box when it was open had nothing but hope left in the bottom. Pandora’s Pinata is a scattered, disjointed mess of an album waiting to burst, spreading sickly sweet tunes throughout your brainpan. Smash that sucker open.