Dry River Yacht Club: El Tigre
Not many bands combine rock, folk, chamber pop, Latin, Middle Eastern and gypsy music, and none as robustly as Dry River Yacht Club. On their second full-length album—produced by Craig Schumacher at Tucson's Wavelab Studio—the Phoenix-based group sound more purposeful than ever.
Which is amazing considering their catholic influences and varied instrumentation. In their current incarnation, Dry River Yacht Club include violin, trombone, bassoon and bass clarinet, in addition to guitar, bass and drums, as well as the vocals of frontwoman Garnet, whose stylistic tendencies travel from spooky growling to delicate crooning.
Especially inviting is the opening cut, "Dead Mother Dearest," which places a sad story in a fairy-tale context and surrounds it with a collision of guitar, violin and bass clarinet.
"Garden" is an almost-traditional country tune that lopes along genially, but the band stretches it out with jazzy soloing past five minutes. This epic quality infuses much of the album, with standout examples including "Pollen," with its baroque fiddling, and "Novella de Caníbal," which bridges flamenco and Middle Eastern music.
"Pocket Full of Gold," the album's gypsy-rock centerpiece, combines the dark and the light, the jarring and the melodic, sounding like it could have been carried down from the hills of Transylvania in an ancient trunk.