Band of Heathens, 'Duende'
Over the years, the once-rotating cast of singers and songwriters in Band of Heathens have steadily solidified into being a singular unit, one that shares the mic rather than passing it off from turn to turn. On Duende, the Austin group's fifth studio LP, that helped the folk-hearted ensemble rock harder than ever, channeling the loose, early Seventies jams of the Rolling Stones and the Band, but without the members sacrificing their individual voices. From the sunny sing-along of "All I'm Asking" to the fits-and-starts swamp funk of "Daddy Longlegs," Duende wasn't afraid to follow its whims, a band of brothers just plain having fun. J.G.