Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Peculiar Pretzelmen - Theme Music for the End of Times

After seeing the Pretzelmen at the Huntridge Tavern, I had to pick up the music that they had available. While the live show is a bit more manic'n'noisy, the recorded versions are pretty goddamn excellent, as well.

This release appears to be fairly homemade - plain cardboard sleeve with magic marker writing on it and the CD has a label stuck on it - although the recordings are high quality and sound terrific. Opening with "Nail", their Rain Dogs-era Tom Waitsy sound comes through right away, with Deacon's self-constructed, melodic percussion and Kevin's banjo pickin'n'strummin'. Really fine singing, songwriting and playing here - nice stuff! Their take on Woody Guthrie's "So Long, It's Been Good To Know You" is actually reasonably traditional, sounding almost like Seeger and Guthrie working together as Deacon (?) harmonizes with Kevin's lead vocals and someone joins the banjo with accordion. "Juice" reminds me of a haunting, old-country folk song, in the vein of "In The Pines", without any musical references to that - more of a feel. Light keyboards add a cool touch, as well. This 4 song CD ends with "Mary", a noisy piece of stomp'n'slide, with vibrato'd guitar (?) and ominous, metallic percussion.

Truly a new favorite band - check 'em out any time they come to your town (guess they just finished a tour, but hopefully, they will be traveling again soon) and definitely pick up their music any way you can!