Clark Collis
May 19, 2006 at 04:00 AM EDT

Garden Ruin

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
Producers
Quarterstick
genre
Rock, Country
We gave it a B+

On their early albums of scratchy, idiosyncratic mariachi-band-influenced desert rock, Calexico core members John Convertino and Joey Burns seemed to believe that Sam Peckinpah was not only alive and well — or as well as the auteur/boozehound ever was — but auditioning soundtrack composers for a Wild Bunch sequel. Almost a decade on, the crisply lush Garden Ruin barely sounds like the work of the same people, as the duo complete their transformation into purveyors of genuinely fine country songwriting. True, some distinctiveness has been lost along the way, but that is largely recompensed by the quality of such tracks as ”Cruel,” ”All Systems Red,” and the quite beautiful ”Bisbee Blue.”

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