Chips & Salsa

Rolie Polie Guacamole

Independent release, 2016

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


An outfit with a work ethic that runs parallel with any of the most dedicated bands that exist today, Brooklyn's Rolie Polie Guacamole isn’t chasing the dream of becoming the next Coldplay or Radiohead or whatever pop band sits at the top of the charts this week. A fiercely independent band, these guys aren't even trying to be the next big thing in indie rock. Instead, they've released four albums and played nearly two thousand shows of one of the least appreciated genres that around today: kids' music.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Like any great album for the little ears, songs about animals and food are included on Chips & Salsa, as are other topics. Musically, the band embraces rock, funk, folk, country, and Latin sounds. Toss in a classic cover and contributions from The Chapin Sisters, as well as members of Primus and Mil's Trills, and you get an album anyone can enjoy. 

The album starts off with “Rolie Polie Guacamole,” a quirky, upbeat tune that sounds like it could be commercial jangle for, what else, guacamole. “Always Brush Your Teeth” follows and not only reminds us of good hygiene but does so with playful acoustic strumming and Latin influenced percussion. “Wake Up Shake Up” brings us backing female vocals and is heavy on the tambourines, and “Apples” is one of the slower moments, and advises us not only on how to eat apples, but is a reminder of why they're so healthy. Near the halfway point, Rolie Polie Guacamole gets dance friendly with “Bird Bellyfull” and funk friendly on “The Mantis.”

The second half of the album gets Caribbean-esque with “Acai,” playful with the call and response of “Hello My Name Is,” and educational with “Museum Of Natural History,” an album highlight. As the album gets deeper, the pace seems to pick up with the speedy guitar licks of “Central Park,” and exits on a version of Woody Guthrie's “This Land Is Your Land,” where several female voices and eclectic instrumentation make it an interpretation that alone makes the album worth the price of admission.

Simply relegating Rolie Polie Guacamole to kids' music is doing them a disservice. This is fun for the entire family.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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