For a band that got its start in a burlesque house, things have turned out pretty great for Denver’s DeVotchKa.
A number of the songs from “How it Ends” appeared in the 2005 feature film “Little Miss Sunshine.” It’s hard to hear the ramshackle riffs and whistling of “The Enemy Guns” without recalling the Hoovers running alongside their dying, yellow Volkswagen T2 Microbus because it won’t start properly.
Fortunately for DeVotchKa, attachment to a major motion picture is not the only thing “How it Ends” has going for it. The Mile High City group has a diverse batch of tracks that draw from global inspirations – “We’re Leaving” sports a mariachi flare while “Such a Lovely Thing” displays the Eastern Bloc flavor the band favors, just to name a few influences.
The album is front loaded with its best material – “Enemy Guns,” “You Love Me” and the title track all arrive in the first 20 minutes. It sets the bar a little too high for the back half, but not so high as to be unenjoyable.
“How it Ends” suggests DeVotchKa’s unusual beginnings inspired its willingness to try new things.
Our Music Year is Daily Republic popular culture writer Nick DeCicco’s yearlong online review in 2012 of albums he had previously not listened to. The reviews will appear in print on their corresponding days during 2013. Reach him at 427-6966 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ndeciccodr.