It used to be easy to identify Calexico. You know, Calexico, that indie-rock mariachi-infused band…
Not so much these days. Over the last few years the band has traded in their Tex-Mex (with a focus on “Mex”) roots for a more rock ‘n’ roll sound—a move that could no longer be ignored after the release of this year’s The Thread That Keeps Us.
The opening track of The Thread That Keeps Us is a love song without a hint of any of Calexico’s trademark sound—but a few songs later, they bring it all back home again with the Spanish language “Flores y Tamales”—and yes, that literally translates to “flowers and tamales.” (These boys are after my own heart.)
The end result of their ever-evolving sound is a diverse skill-set that has transformed into something bigger than geographically-informed rock—a Calexico setlist can swing from horn-heavy mariachi music to something you’d expect from Talking Heads in their prime, and they do so seamlessly. It’s a fluid dynamic and shows comfortability in stepping outside of the box in way most bands don’t do nine albums in. Other bands: Take note (I’m looking at you, Wilco.).
Calexico plays The Commonwealth Room Monday, June 11. Tickets available here.