They Shoot Horses Don’t’ They - Pick Up Sticks
This nine member band uses horns as weapons the way Tom Waits or Beefheart would—to wake
you up just long enough to kick you down. It is that emotional wallop amidst the fun carnival-esque
feel that makes this a winner. "Busted Bell" and "The Hallway" stomp and grind, like tunes literally
hanging on the line between goofy and menacing; hell, that the disc starts off with the line "This is
the last song / it's everything I've dreamed about," ought to give some clue. And it is the lyrics that
make this set; alternately pleading and denouncing, they signal the brutal force
and brooding intent behind the bouncy rhythmic jive. Not that you thought of it before—I hope—but
if you’ve ever wanted to hear the dark power of a tuba, this is your record.
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