Fixed Idea – La Muerte (CD)

The mix of punk and ska music is something that is hard to do successfully and without your band sounding like utter ass, but Fixed Idea know how to do it right. Tracks like “At The Side of the Park” work because the horns do not try to do something unheard of for punk music; at their best moments, the horns replace the bass in providing a deep sound to rival the guitars and vocals at the other end of the spectrum. Tracks like “Bad Apple” take the horns and change their role to something like that of a synthesizer; they provide the overall atmosphere to the track instead of being the kernel of music for the track.

The Spanish influence in a number of these songs give Fixed Idea a distinct sound that has not been heard in any format since the halcyon days of the Voodoo Glow Skulls. The tracks on “La Muerte” are full, thought-out songs that allow Fixed Idea to give listeners a look into their own creative process. The band does not need to always be pushing on a punk style, and songs like “Things I Do For You” sound more like Vitamin C’s “Graduation” than anything that Rancid cut in their career. This diversity of sound really will bring listeners into Fixed Idea in flocks; by not constraining themselves to one or two different musical styles, the band is much more free when it comes to creating albums. That has been the strongest point to each of the previous Fixed Idea albums, and coupled with the better production values of this disc, allows the band to go and succeed easier than many other bands in their shoes. The songs are all preened and proper for pop-rock radio, and tracks like “Little Chance” recall early Less Than Jake.

There is little that Fixed Idea does not do on “La Muerte”; the disc is full of different arrangements, influences, and overall sounds that will titillate and excite listeners. Each set of tracks that Fixed Idea has cut has shown a more svelte and interesting band; “La Muerte” is no exception, and here’s to hoping that the band sticks together and does more of the same for the next few albums. If you’ve not heard the band, pick up their album or dig a few songs of theirs on Myspace; if you like music at all, there will be something in Fixed Idea’s CD that you can love.

Top Tracks: Debo, Little Chance

Rating: 6.7/10

Fixed Idea – La Muerte / 2006 Broken Bones / 13 Tracks / http://www.brokenbonezrecords.com / http://www.myspace.com/fixedidea / Reviewed 25 May 2006

[JMcQ]

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