Angel Marie Mexico doesn't come with a lyric sheet, which is a pity since most of what Shazy Hade's Erik Schinker sings on the band's new CD is worth knowing. Not to mention real and true. Sometimes the words are deceptively simple, as is the case on the jangly pop-rocker "Danny X," where ex-New Recruit Schinker sings "You tell me you love me/I choose to believe it" in a plaintive whine that's by turns desperate and tender. And sometimes they're a little bent and, well, psychedelic, as is the case on the hopeful, upwelling Stones-styled anthem "Strawberry Cake." But the one thing they never are is showily sophisticated or overwrought.
The same is true of Shazy Hade's music, which uses guitar, bass, drums and the occasional keyboard to fill out beautifully produced pop and rock tunes that are steeped in some of the most creative music of the '60s. (Members of the well-traveled alt-rock outfit Hum Machine fill out the quintet's lineup.) If I had to choose, I'd probably pick the oddly innocent "Bone Drag" as the tune most likely to succeed on college radio. Then again, there are half a dozen songs on Angel Marie Mexico that fans of wistful, psychedelic atmospheres are apt to latch onto once they get in sync with Schinker's ramshackle singing style.