Look Mexico - The Crucial Collection (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Look Mexico

The Crucial Collection (2008)


Prior to receiving zine acclaim for last year's wonderful debut full-length, This Is Animal Music, Look Mexico was slowly fueling the hype train for departure with a few EPs that found them first flexing their mathy, American Football-esque chops. Lujo Records has paired them together for us and tacked on some rarities and remixes to make for a very pleasing compilation in The Crucial Collection.

The first five derive from 2006's title-providing The Crucial EP, and they're remixed and remastered by Jared D. Wynne to boot. The earnestness of Matt Agrella's voice when he sings the first lines of the disc -- "Strike a match, and start a fight" -- is almost hard to bear, but it's just simply refreshing. The three-song 2005 EP So Byzanite follows it up; it's a relaxing and enjoyable trio of tracks, though not nearly as proficient or interesting as Crucial, obviously.

The next half-dozen are a grab-bag of tracks. "Math Is Everywhere" is a cover of indie pop act and Lujo alumni Summer Darling, originally from an incestuous compilation released last year that featured label acts covering other label acts; it's not bad, just a bit innoccuous. Tracks 10 and 11 are real treats, since they originally appeared on the Japanese release of This Is Animal Music. Though stylistically and produced similar, "I Meant Pushups" is heavily vocal-dependent with an everlasting harmony and unusually dark overtones for the band -- nonetheless an enjoyable number. The other is a remix of "Me and My Dad Built Her," which isn't drastically different from the original; it's just got some new and curious, soothing layers.

The last three of those are remixes by labelmates History Invades and the Dark Romantics, as well as Floridian Chris Rucker. History Invades turns "You Ever Get Punched in the Face for Talking Too Much?" into an interestingly lo-fi affair, while "You Come Into My House, While I Sleep?" and "Done and Done." have some electro and club vibes, thanks to the respective work of Rucker and the Romantics. Dig those dirty beats, robotic vocalizations and the Salt-n-Pepa-style outro on "Done and Done.".

The Crucial Collection has an adjective in its title that seems to describe it adequately for any listener who dug This Is Animal Music to a notable degree. Scope it!

Guys, I Need a Helicopter
Whose Ship Is This?

I Can't Today, I'm on Duty
Math Is Everywhere
You Ever Get Punched in the Face for Talking Too Much? (History Invades remix)