Hi folks! I don’t have time to update the blog in the following days with new material because I’m sorta busy. But for the sake of new posts I prepared something I hope you like. I wrote articles on the whole Handsome Family Discography and will post one article a day for the next week. -orange
Discography: The Handsome Family
Dear readers, this will be kind of a post series because I want to introduce you to one of the best bands this earth has to offer. You maybe heard of them because they are not quiet unknown, but in case you did not, this post could be something that changes your life (in fact it would be the music, but ok…). Of course I’m talking about The Handsome Family, an alt. country (or southern gothic) band founded back in 1993 still making damn good music.
The band was foremd by Brett (vocals, guitar, keyboards) and Rennie Sparks (bass, banjo, vocals) as well as Mike Werner (drums) who later left the band. But so far you could have read all that on their wikipedia site and therefore I don’t want to continue talking about facts that have not to do with the actual music itself. In this post series I want to review album by album for you whereas I won’t say anything about compilations, EPs or other releases. I think if you know a bit about the different albums it’s easy to find your way into the rest of their music. But one little remark before I start reviewing: Did you ever notice that the best music is always done by couples? (The following sentence is not subjective at all!) Take for example the best indie rock band: Yo La Tengo – married couple; the best slow alternative band: Low – married couple; and best alt. country band: The Handsome Family – married couple! This can be no coincedence me thinks. But let’s get started.
The Handsome Family – Odessa
Carrot Top 1993
Listen while reading:
One Way Up (from Odessa)
Moving Furniture Around (from Odessa)
Odessa makes me smile everytime I listen to it because you can feel that it was their first album. Compared to the other ones Odessa is loud as hell and you can’t hide the thought that they did not know what they will do or sound like in the future. The electric guitar is sure the dominant factor and they are not afraid to frie your ears with massive distortion. But you know how this thing works, don’t you? You got a band you love and as you love their music suddently you like all they have ever done. Don’t tell me I’m the only one who thinks so because there is a hidden mechanism in your brain that makes you think: “Well, if they are capable of making such good albums, erm, yeah, this thing could not be to bad, could it? No it couldn’t!” And you listen to it over and over as if you have to loose anything if you would do otherwise. And then, it’s maybe the same as when you experience your ear pop and you think you can hear more clearly for a moment. You just think: how could I not like it before – in the end everything is an act of conditioning, I tell you. But as much sympathy as I can show to Odessa I can’t overlook or overhear this ear raping thing of an aweful, aweful track called Big Bad Wolf. This is just some stupid noise sound reminding only a very little bit of the sound of Sonic Youth with I-can’t-tell-you-how-bad-they-sound vocals sung by Rennie. This maybe was meant to be something to show a hint of punk attitude or something but for me it is just one great piece of shit. But hey, we don’t want to judge an album because one track is a bit of a childish mistake. No, clearly not. How else could it be, that they – at the same time – was able to write such beautiful tracks like One Way Up or Moving Furniture Around? In the end I would not recommend to get started with this album if you are interested in the sound of The Handsome Family. This is more like a piece of art most people don’t really need but for completing their collection – and this sounds weird because you can’t really say it is that bad of a record. It’s like a good friend who likes to taunt you sometimes but for it is a good friend you can’t really be mad at him. I think this would describe the album quite well.