It’s been several years since Firewater mastermind and general world traveler Tod A shared with the world his special blend of multicultural, multi-genre music, but International Orange, his first new Firewater record in four years, finds him in fine form. Possessor of a voice that contains a natural grittiness and an innate sneer, Tod’s blend of ska, reggae, rock, and Tejano sounds might seem a bit messy, and in the hands of a less capable artist, the mix would simply be horrible. But Mr. A’s an excellent singer and a masterful arranger, and the songs found here are jaunty, upbeat, and occasionally funny. But don’t feel too comfortable; the happy feelings cover up a dark, dark heart; whether it’s talking about wealth and greed (“Ex-Millionaire’s Mambo”), the power of addiction (“The Monkey Song”), murder and death in exotic lands (“Strange Night”), or ne’er do wells (“Nowhere to be Found”), the subjects don’t necessarily match the mood—a masterful trick if you can pull it off, and Firewater pulls it off with natural grace and aplomb. For the most part, International Orange is a fun record that beckons for you to listen to it over and over again—don’t say you weren’t warned about this album’s addictive factor and devilishly delicious flavors.