Our musical treasures from East L.A. continue down the less-traveled path of quirky-yet-instantly-satisfying recordmaking with their first full-length studio release since 1992’s Kiko. Having long established their commercial credentials with La Bamba and even an appearance on Sesame Street, the band sounds spontaneous yet relaxed here. Haunting melodies dance around a cacophony of strange percussive splashes.
After 20-odd years together, this quintet can tinker with their distinctive brand of Latin soul—call it Mexifunk—and come up with the piquant, mambo-tinged “Maricela.” Without breaking a sweat, chief songmeisters David Hidalgo and Louis Perez then serve up slammin’ ’70s dance-funk, “Can’t Stop the Rain.” The band wraps up with the bluesy and whimsically titled “Buddy Ebsen Loves the Night Time.” When you evoke the image of Jed Clampett for no good reason, you must be having fun. (Warner Bros.)