29 December 2006

Album of the Year

The calendar year is nearly over, which means that the awards season is upon us. My pick for Album of the Year goes to Bahamut, the first effort of the New York band, Hazmat Modine. This is a wonderful album: ingeniously resonant of genres past and present, it's a tour de force.

Here is how they describe themselves:

"Hazmat Modine
draws from the rich soil of American music of the 20's and 30's through to the 50's and early 60's, blending elements of early Blues, Hokum Jugband, Swing, Klezmer, New Orleans R & B, and Jamaican Rocksteady. The band is fronted by two harmonicas which use call and response, harmony, melody, and syncopated interweaving rhythms. The band includes tuba, guitar, and percussion, claviola and Hawaiian steel guitar. The band's sound reflects musical influences ranging from Avant-garde Jazz to Rockabilly and Western Swing to Middle-Eastern, African, and Hawaiian musical styles."

The sound is more cohesive than the cacophony of styles mentioned here might suggest. Highly recommended!

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