Culture

Monday Music: Do You Know Where the Party's At?

Purgar Peter

It would not be hard to make a party game of picking out the global influences in the New York-based band Hazmat Modine’s new album, “Cicada.” There’s a Latin groove here; a klezmer-ish flourish there; a hint of Jamaican rocksteady; an intermittent country twang; whole tracks featuring a West African brass band. Music by lesser groups would seem to demand an academic treatment, entreating us to catalogue — and to congratulate the musicians for — each eclectic scrap and esoteric musical reference.

The difference between those bands and this one is that Hazmat Modine’s music really works. This is potent stuff that, rather than stirring that old impulse to dissect and label, produces a tickly feeling behind the solar plexus. The thought isn’t “What is this?” let alone, “Is that balalaika that I hear?” Rather, it’s “Where’s the party?”

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Monday Music: Do You Know Where the Party's At?

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