A Good Tip for a Good Time

Retro rocker Cato Salsa Experience is the latest entry to the growing list of bands exploring the neo-garage/ post-punk sound most commonly associated with the Strokes and the White Stripes.

Retro rocker Cato Salsa Experience is the latest entry to the growing list of bands exploring the neo-garage/ post-punk sound most commonly associated with the Strokes and the White Stripes. Though, truth be told, this Norwegian four-piece sounds more like current Swede sensation the Hives copping the cheeky bravado of the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and the production aesthetics of last year's Nuggets II boxed set. The best practitioners of this throwback-rock genre—which has never been long on originality—manage to invigorate and, at times, transcend familiar sounds by synthesizing and recasting them in an irreverent way that gives their work the sheen of being new and somehow different. Cato Salsa, on the other hand, comes off as a cover band with good taste. Not that that's a bad thing, per se. For those who can't get enough of fuzzed-out guitars and Hammond organ riffs, A Good Tip for a Good Time makes for a fun listen. But many may find themselves with the nagging feeling that they've been down this road before—and not just once, but multiple times.—BG