The Handsome Family – Last Days Of Wonder
Carrot Top 2006
Listen while reading:
Your Great Journey (from Last Days Of Wonder)
Bowling Alley Bar (from Last Days Of Wonder)
„You’ve begun to dance the ghost dance, stray dogs gather in your yard. Your great journey has begun.” (from Your Great Journey) One of my favourite Handsome Family lines and a perfect example of how Brett and Rennie translate our everyday’s life into magical stories. This translation makes them becoming magnificent story tellers and every word they sing is just special. In my opinion Last Days Of Wonder is their best effort in writing unparalleled lyrics and wonderful little tales full of wonders and dreariness at the same time. But from a musical point of view I stand by my opinion that Through The Trees was their masterstroke because of the thousand-fold mentioned haunting atmosphere that was never reached again. But this is nothing surprising because I told you that their sound changed with Singing Bones from 2003 which marked the line between the haunting atmosphere sound and the new, more (classical) country orientated sound that came into flower the first time with Last Days Of Wonder. And saying so doesn’t mean that you find a totally changed band, but the main focus was clearly shifted. Although songs like These Golden Jewels featuring musical saw in a good ol’ creeping way, they don’t affect the overall picture in a too strong manner. What is a bit humorous in this context is the track All The Time In Airports because the distorted guitar reminds of the 1996 published Milk And Scissors. As you see, Last Days Of Wonder is one wonderful record you could have your freaking fun with. And for this I would call it a splendid CD and a absolute highlight in the discography. Therefore it is very hard not to speak of it in such a praising way even though you may think I say so to every album. But you have no chance because, as I said in the first article on Odessa (1993), The Handsome Family is one of the best bands this world has to offer (in my little world). And if you ever have listened to their 2009 album Honey Moon you realize that – again, surprise!- they recorded an outstanding album no other band would have been able to record. But I will talk more about this topic tomorrow. Let me tell you a long story short: Last Days Of Wonder is an unbelievable record and it marks the first highlight in the second phase of the band (prefaced by Singing Bones and brought to perfection with Last Days Of Wonder). Would you believe me if I told you that they were able to again top this with Honey Moon (ignore the fact that I said so few lines above)? We’ll see tomorrow.