Hawk and a Hacksaw

A Hawk and a Hacksaw

by A Hawk and a Hacksaw
     
 

As if in repulsion of the 21st century and its failed promises, more artists and listeners are turning to the first half of another century -- the 20th -- for musical inspiration. But while Americana has typically manifested itself in the form of alt-country pining per Wilco or direct librarianism (see the…  See more details below

Overview

As if in repulsion of the 21st century and its failed promises, more artists and listeners are turning to the first half of another century -- the 20th -- for musical inspiration. But while Americana has typically manifested itself in the form of alt-country pining per Wilco or direct librarianism (see the Soggy Bottom Boys), few have innovated to the same degree as Jeremy Barnes of Neutral Milk Hotel has on this release. Opening with "Maremailette," the immediate connection is made to the repetitive looping of Steve Reich and Philip Glass. However, the song soon begins to swell with accordion and tin pan drums, which are a much more accurate signpost to what follows. The title track plays like a rampant silent film score, while "A Hard Row to Hoe" is down-right cartoonish, with it's squeezebox hijinks. But things don't remain so slap-happy as "Black Firs" slows the tempo and adds a healthy dose of modernly retro tape effects. And that's where things remain for the latter half of the album, deteriorating into more complex and disjointed arrangements until "To Pine in Time," which works off a lacing of hornet buzzes and raw analog melodies. Pleasantly, Barnes ends with "With Our Thoughts We Make the World," a swaying number that returns to the cascading cymbals and accordion and even features something of a lead vocal part. Fascinatingly old-timey yet smartly modern, Barnes has produced a record unlike anything you're likely to hear again, in any century.

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Product Details

Release Date:
10/11/2005
Label:
Leaf
UPC:
0666017079226
catalogNumber:
BAY35
Rank:
148300

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