Review: Havalina

“Space, Love and Bullfighting”
(Tooth and Nail)

Havalina, the brainy artistes who happen to have chosen the musical format as the medium through which to express themselves have hoisted another head-scratcher onto their bespectacled listeners. This ethereally goofy disc is chock full of witty little lyrical forays, galactic allusions, and nifty musical interludes. Havalina(what happened to the “Rail Co.” part of the name guys? Are you too cool to be associated with the great intercontinental people and produce transporters of yesteryear anymore?) brings you this cerebral, or perhaps pretentious depending on your viewpoint, concept record where they interweave the cosmically related topics of, uh, space, love, and bullfighting. While the concept itself is questionable, some of the albums tracks are bizarre enough to bring joy to the listener. “Pluto,” especially, delves sublimely into the realm of strange, with the unforgettable chorus of “Not quite a planet and not quite steam/Pluto’s caught right in between.” It’s not only a catchy tune but an astronomy lesson as well. The latin flavored rhythms of “Carlos” and “Bullfighting” also hold water, but eventually the unwieldy concept of reconciling their three disparate topics overwhelms poor Havalina. Before yielding to their own ambition, though, they manage reel off the rip-roaring “Worst Days” and show you once again just how clever these their Long Beach bred asses really are.