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Squirrel Nut Zippers - Beasts of Burgundy LP


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It was their first album in 18 years!! Tracklist:|
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Jimbo Mathus and Chris Phillips revived the Squirrel Nut Zippers in 2016 for a tour celebrating the 20th anniversary of their breakthrough album, Hot. Turns out, the pair liked this new lineup, so they decided to head into the studio to record an album while the band was hot. Mathus decided that the album -- the group's first in 18 years -- should be designed as a tribute to New Orleans, the city that inspired SNZ's music, not to mention Mathus' fondness for the old, odd America. Beasts of Burgundy does indeed jump and swing in a manner that unmistakably belongs to the Crescent City, particularly the hot dance and Dixieland of the early part of the 20th century. The Squirrel Nut Zippers may rely on old sounds but their perspective is distinctly modern: witness "Rusty Trombone," a novelty that's every bit as lewd as its title promises. By not playing this old-timey music straight, the Squirrel Nut Zippers emphasize its inherent wildness and weirdness. Mathus' songs are populated by characters who are larger than life -- or, as the opening salvos calls it, a "Conglomeration of Curious" -- which lends Beasts of Burgundy a certain appealing strangeness, but the content of the song gets overshadowed by how the band cooks. SNZ lean into the careening tempos of the uptempo shuffles and blues, then lay back to make the slower songs feel louche and languid, and by switching gears so effortlessly, the album seems to speed through its 12 songs. More than anything, it's that musicality that makes Beasts of Burgundy a pleasure: it's evidence the group has gotten better and slier during its hiatus.

Product Code: SB-083067


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