Party in Bounds: Celebration can?t stand to sound genuinely exotic.

Like a Martin Denny record or any Elvis movie set outside of the contiguous United States, Celebration relies on exoticism to entertain. Its world is one of bacchanalian rhythms, boiling cauldron organs, and wild animal hooting. The trio is striking, mysterious, and “other” in a deliberate way—its party vibe is more beaded-curtain than K-hole. For about 15 minutes of its new album, The Modern Tribe, that “other” is pretty great—then it gets a little too familiar. The Baltimore band has made a concerted effort to tighten up its brew of tribal post-cabaret punk by focusing its melodies and crafting denser song structures. Usually a savage and feral presence who doles out pre-lingual yelps and howls, vocalist Katrina Ford uses “Evergreen” to channel a femininity and vulnerability that she was previously just too punk to allow herself. As a result, the song’s slightly art-Wiccan incantations—“We could start the fire and raise the thunder/Have we reached the path to the heart of the sun”—allow it to burn like a rack of voodoo candles. “Pressure” builds slowly and meticulously from a spare rhythm and bass groove to a wheezing wall of brass and soulful crooning before suddenly disappearing into a swirl of echo-chamber guitars and organ arpeggios. Both songs retain the first record’s bluesy mood but with a degree of restraint and added clarity. “Pony” follows the more traditional Celebration path of throbbing stomp and squalor. Ford murmurs and chants, “I love the action/I feel it in my my my soul/I just want to be with you,” over drummer David Bergander’s stumbling beat while keyboardist/guitarist Sean Antanaitis taps out a low groove. But there is no other to Celebration’s “other”: Once they’ve established the tribal thump, organ-rock, and wind-chimes template, the songs become harder to tell apart than a field full of plastic flamingos. It takes a big melodic hook to make one organ-grinding gypsy-pop song feel separate from another, and too many tracks on The Modern Tribe lack it. “Tame the Savage” plods through four minutes of tired gospel organ and dull singalong. A whole rack of cowbells can’t keep “Hands Off My Gold” from getting repetitive. But when Celebration catches onto a decent melody—as on the slow and majestic “Comets”—the band makes you want to shake like a grass skirt in Blue Hawaii.