Live Review


Iguanas on December 31, 1969

Some bands aspire to gravitas. Others have it thrust upon them, whether they want it or not. So it is that New Orleans Iguanas a polyglot party band that has never exactly been accused of heaviness step up with a new album steeped in the aftershocks of Hurricane Katrina.

Even though the news crews have moved on after New Orleans dodged the hurricane bullet from Gustav, New Orleans denizens are still struggling three years after Katrina. That includes the four Iguanas, who did a stint in exile before returning to the Crescent City and coming together for If You Should Ever Fall On Hard Times.

Not that the album is a downer. Its overall vibe falls somewhere between Los Lobos-style roots-rock and Ozomatlis party-funk, spiced up with tropical grooves and rhythms. About the most overt hurricane reference El Huracan y Pin Pon, a Spanish song that finds humor in cry-wolf evacuations.

Even though Katrina isnt mentioned by name, the awareness of what New Orleans has endured since Katrina is enough context to add seriousness to this record. Thats kind of the point getting back to work, whether helping your neighbor fix his devastated house or firing up the party afterward. Partying is serious business in New Orleans, after all.

Artist Iguanas
Author David Menconi
Other tags issueYep Roc