Beasts of Burgundy
Squirrel Nut Zippers – helluva band! Good band! Fun band. Expert across many styles, but always a good-time New Orleans-y swagger and stomp to the fore, and certainly that’s the case here on what is the band’s first studio album in 18 years; it’s not a reunion according to chief Nut Jimbo Mathus but rather a revival. And if it’s not quite the return of all the originals the music still stings with all of the thrills you would hope for, from Tom Waits-esque carnival barking (Conglomeration of Curios) to some of the ska-swirls of latter-day Specials (the title track – which also sports another Waits-ian vocal).
It’s great cheap fun. Pay Me Now (Or Pay Me Later!) gets to the heart of what R. Crumb and His Cheap Suit Serenaders have been hocking – but the decision to revisit that vibe so overtly on Rusty Trombone (aiming for a My Girl’s Pussy-type of double-entendre as, essentially single-entendre) seems unwise. You might snigger the first time you hear about how someone gets their “ass blown away” but are you really gonna giggle on repeat-plays? (Don’t answer that).
No matter tough, Hey Shango! rolls on a nice Dr. John vibe and there’s more musical gumbo with the Lil Band O’ Gold-goes-sassy-brass on Use What Mama Gave You and the charming after-hours balladry of Fade. A perfect end to a lively, lovely serenade.
Good to have them back – whatever version this is. It’s faithful. And that’s what counts.
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