Diablo’s Horns is a brass band that doesn’t hesitate to expand their palate into funk, jazz, and that patented New Orleans groove. No matter what form the music takes here, there is a good sense of humor, complete with a healthy irreverence and sarcasm.
This comes through whether deliberately jumping on the undead bandwagon with the explanatory “Zombies” or the second-line rhythms with trumpeter Kevin Clark and trombonist Rick Trolsen’s excellent, in-the-pocket solos on the nursery-rhyme solution to too-many-Jimmy-Buffet-fans-in-one-place, “Dead Parrotheads.” The twin spiritual hearts of this opus are the European sounding “Canvas Postcards” with its creepy stories about circus and carny life.
This tune could do for circus obsessives what the Valparaiso Men’s Chorus did for the ocean-faring life with their sea-shanty compilations.Then there are the hilarious New Orleans tribute/laments “Love It Or Leave It” that has alternating hard-driving and slinky-horn lines punctuating the unique anecdotes, aspects and pronunciations of Crescent City life.
Diablo’s Horns believe so deeply in the philosophies contained in this song that they do a second version later in the record with Derrick “Mr. Smoker” Freeman rapping and digging deeper into what makes New Orleans such a joy and such a headache in which to live in. Throughout the record, the gonzo vibe never stops but it never overwhelms the music.
Into The Fire throws down a particular worldview, one that many share, complete with great New Orleans beats to emphasize the sheer craziness of life here. As their song says, “Sanity is overrated.”