reminiscent of the Neville Brothers and Little Feat, and then surprises with jazz changes la Steely Dan. But this is no slavish imitation — just a natural latching on to proven styles. Add in the occasional accordion or horn section, and the music also embraces zydeco, reggae, and even calypso sounds.
A key element of the band's sound is the voice of lead singer John Latini. Recalling the raspy, liquor-soaked growl of Tom Waits, Latini's soulfully controlled vocals animate the stories of the songs. At once smooth and rough, his singing sounds alternately celebratory, remorseful, seductive, and dangerous. The moods match the tunes (most written by Latini and Wolak), which range from the affectionate "Business to Business" ("I'm gonna marry my heart to yours / We'll merge like department stores") to the tough attitude of street-fighting "Louie" ("Stay off the street, easy meat — he'll make your life complete").