If there was any question whether the state of music in South Florida was malingering, Paul Holland just blew it out of the water.
Paultergeist, as he's known, was relegated to sideman accordion player in popular Lake Worth act Viva Le Vox. With his new project, Que Lastima, he has unsheathed a full arsenal of honorifics: composer, arranger, frontman, pianist, organist, guitarist, singer, hellraiser, and false prophet.
The band's live shows don't convey music so much as reach out, grab your throat, and force-feed an epiphany of experience akin to a tent revival. As if the performances weren't enough, there's the album. Fever Dreams isn't just a standout for local recordings; in the humble opinion of this writer, it is among the very best albums of 2014.
Holland creates a dreamy world of knife-fight circus church music that's part punk, gypsy jazz, New Orleans swing, and sinner's swagger. He's taken fuzzy guitars and made them feel right at home with horns and waltzing pianos and saxophone solos. He manages to make his accordion sound like a Parisian bistro one moment and a tool of Satan's hellfire the next.