Picks and Pans Review: The Bottle & Fresh Horses
This Tempe, Ariz., quartet's frolicking 1996 hit single "Banditos" (with its amusing bank-robbery-in-Mexico video) disguised an otherwise lukewarm major-label debut record, Fizzy, Fuzzy, Big & Buzzy. The band's new release is better, but not by a lot. These 13 songs are slick power pop with a Tex-Mex accent. They feature appealing but predictable melodic hooks, blistering guitar solos and Butch Cassidy-era lyrics peppered with tales of horses, cantinas and dangerous federates spun by lead singer-songwriter (and rhythm guitarist) Roger Clyne. Formulaic but pleasing are the lyrical "Fonder and Blonder" and the propulsive "Good Year"—both sound like radio hits. Still, with its ratio of 50 percent musical inspiration to 50 percent commercial calculation, this disc doesn't quite add up. (Mercury)
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