Banditos are famously eclectic, paying tribute to a little Aretha here, a little CCR there, with a tidbit of Squirrel Nut Zippers packed around the edges. While such a myriad of influences would bury a lesser band in tuneless muck, Banditos use their disparate influences to forge a more assured identity. Though they recall a dozen bands, they sound like none so much as themselves. The instrumentation is as ambitious as it is deftly executed, mingling upright bass with kazoo and banjo while the soul-spangled howl of frontwoman Mary plays counterpoint to a deceivingly sparse guitar, drenched in a quantity of reverb and delay not often associated with “danceable.” All this would mean crap if Banditos couldn’t play, but these mothers can choogle. It’s always the mark of a good band to be able to play the hell out of three chords and a breakdown, and Banditos shake it down like John Fogerty. Honestly, their shows are such burndowns of shimmying shins and stomping heels they should carry warnings for bone spurs.
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