Album Review

Iguanas - Plastic Silver 9-Volt Heart

Iguanas - Plastic Silver 9-Volt Heart

The Iguanas ease their way out of New Orleans with their sixth disc, their first since 1999's Sugar Town, and it's another set of slinky, silky, intensely rhythmic tunes that simmer together the band's long-established influences into a wholesome and satisfying concoction. It's their best and most cohesive effort yet, bringing touches of the tropics, doses of exotica and plenty of nostalgia (the title describes a childhood radio) to a collection of songs unified by languid melodies that uncurl at heat-induced, lazy paces. The disc is filled with spaces without distance. The rhythms, thanks to Doug Garrison's flexible percussion, are influenced by Latin, blues and rock, and there's a decided purpose to every note and word. "Flame On" burns into the brain on Joe Cabral and Derek Huston's sax stack and Rod Hodges' filtered vocals (a trick repeated on the funny "Liquor Dance"). Elsewhere, they jump from the all-out rocker "I Dig You", highlighted by Rene Coman's rollicking piano, to the hypnotic swirl of "Sugar Cane", to the catchy "Zacadacas", which builds to the point that the chanted chorus becomes vaguely obscene. As usual, there are several songs sung in Spanish, including "Abandanado", which, along with "First Kiss", is seductively beautiful.