Iguanas – Super Ball
The Iguanas are like a Big Easy version of Los Lobos, a soulful roots outfit fusing rhythm & blues with Tex-Mex. Several times during an Iguanas show, the band figuratively hops into a phone booth and is transformed from a bajo sexto-and-accordion conjunto to a New Orleans soul combo featuring double tenor saxes. Super Ball, the bands third album, continues in the groove of the bands earlier work, though it isnt the great leap forward some might have expected from the group.
I Moved Too Slow, an R&B ballad that uses sax lines as well as vocals to carry the harmony, is the best cut on the disc. Is This Love? includes the intriguing couplet, Like this love between you & me / So dark and muddy I can hardly see. Bennies Cadillac comes with a nice hook and a rough end to a night in Uptown New Orleans. Que Tristeza has a percussive Mendes groove. On Im Tired and Cuarto Rojo, however, the fire the Iguanas bring to live shows doesnt come through in the studio, and the songs are revealed as being quite ordinary.
Though the bands excellent chops make Super Ball a fine record for a summertime patio party, the songs are ultimately still ephemeral. The Iguanas sound is unique, but the group hasnt improved much upon its first two records; the result is an album thats good, but a step short of the greatness they seem capable of.