Opening with the quaint "Bundle" sets a spirited sound for Curio. World Class Thugs kicks things up a notch for the chirpy "Gibraltar"... a personal favorite on the album. Jocelyn Ruiz Dustan  provides most of the lead vocals on Curio. While sounding characterized and somewhat puerile, honestly in a good way, Jocelyn is not limited as many singers who carry such distinction in their voice tend to be. She can be wispy and ethereal as on "Bootstraps" or chanty and playful like in "Ghost Town #49".

Jim Dustan comes in on vocals for the third track, "Kill the Man." With Jim's voice the music takes on a more down-home feel. Jocelyn invokes a feeling of Weird Folk or Indiepop while Jim conveys more of an Americana sensibility.

Throughout the album, it is the instrumentation that ties the collection together as a family would serve as the uniting framework for an assortment of knickknacks. Combining the less frequently heard accordion, clarinet, mandolin, flute, and tung-drum with those more commonly-seen-in-a-folk/pop-band. This combination gives a lively, orchestral sound to each track whether it's the sultry, surreal "Rats Dream of Mazes" or the almost punk bar ballad "Help Yerself". And World Class Thugs has the right cast to support their intricate sound.

In addition to the skills and instruments Jocelyn and Jim bring to the table beyond their vocal abilities, Andrew Jemsek of the Phoenix famed Jemseks plays accordion and Tony Juarez provides drums as part of the new line up. On the album, former Thugs Jeff Dobberpuhl and Gil Guillia filled those roles. Dale Fox offers vocals, guitar, and mandolin to the mix while also helping the Dustans with the task of songwriting.

World Class Thugs creates a collection of treasures for Curio. Get your copy today and keep your eye out for live performances from the group. These Thugs are not to be missed.
I believe World Class Thugs made a wise decision in naming their first album Curio. Each song evokes curiosity, perhaps nostalgia. Each is unique unto itself. They might all be collected in a single cabinet like those pictured on the album, all part of the same history but all different.
World Class Thugs

November 1, 2011


by Carly Schorman