Callithump - Los Paperboys


Callithump is quite literally The Paperboys with all the bells and whistles. Within the well-chosen title lies the key to the disc’s full-blown sound. According to the definition provided in the liner notes, Callithump is a somewhat riotous parade, accompanied with the blowing of tin horns and other discordant noises; though you can take the discordant part with a grain of salt. The band is harmoniously at the top of their game here on their seventh album. Puffed up with a choice horn section, choral treatments from the No Shit Shirleys and some blazing rap from Kia Kadiri, the band, who normally march to their own drummer anyway, are indeed a parade looking for a place to happen. The clever name change to Los Paperboys this time out is a nod to singer/songwriter, co-producer Tom Landa’s further fascination with the music of his Mexican heritage. Up to the challenge, the horns keep pace, moving from Mariachi to Dixie to whatever seemingly at the flick of a switch. The parade route takes the listener through all kinds of musical territory, from new grass, western, Latin, reggae and the west coast Celtic stomp they branded many recordings ago. Geoffrey Kelly’s sublime flutes and whistles add a breath of reel or jig to almost every track. The traditional Celtic also comes to the fore with the addition of a few instrumentals like Worms/ Door of Steel, Merengue Polkas and Camera Obscura; only on Callithump the arrangements are nearly orchestral. Juno-winning producer Joby Baker who has partnered to great success with Alex Cuba again shows his sonic skills. And Tom? Well, Tom Landa is nothing if not a craftsman of great hooks, gorgeous melodies and insightful words. Callithump makes a lot of beautiful noise and deserves similar reaction.