I’ve never really understood the idea of criticizing artists as music culture imperialists. Some of my favorite bands, Talking Heads, Sun City Girls and Vampire Weekend (I AIN’T AFRAID TO ADMIT IT), have been labelled by some critics as “cultural thieves” for their ability to blend world music influences. I can only imagine that if those critics laid their ears on some Flamingods, they would be declared cultural imperialist kings. Flamingods have drenched their music and image in worldly influences ranging from Native American to oriental cultures. While most bands would probably come across gimmicky, Flamingods channel their diverse influences into some of the most exciting indie-rock I’ve heard in a long time. Their track “Quesso” is built upon a huge tribal-tinged drum track and explodes with a burning guitar solo and ecstatic vocal yelping. While similarly influenced bands, Sun City Girls and Animal Collective, have approached their music with deconstruction and experimentation, Flamingods cut straight to the pop and rock sides resulting in upbeat and energetic gems. I’m still unsure of where Flamingods are going to take their music and I couldn’t be more excited to find out.