Hamburger Hobos second disc a wild ride

2 Apr

This review originally ran in the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal in January 2007.


In a year full of cookie-cutter songs and bands, the self-titled sophomore album by the Hamburger Hobos is a breath of fresh air.
The Tupelo-based garage-grunge-improv band takes cues from bands like the Velvet Underground and Sonic Youth to make its own brand of rock. It’s the perfect post-holiday record to get you through the terribly boring months of January and February.
The first five songs on the album are songs in the traditional sense of having verses and choruses (and titles), while tracks 6-18 are nameless experimental tunes.
Fans of “The Golden Girls” will love the tune “Bea Arthur.” It’s got a simple, sing-along chorus: “Rose, Blanche, Ma, Bea Arthur.”  And the lyrics are too funny: “My mother lives with me, I call her Ma/She’s from Sicily and her name’s Sophia/So far she’s been acting perfectly fine/But if she cops an attitude it’s back to Shady Pines.”
“Hard On Candy” is also a fabulous song, one that gets in your head and won’t let go. It’s a wonder this song isn’t already a hit on college radio.
The nameless tracks have lots of sounds, from traditional-sounding tunes (Track 13) to starry instrumentals (Track 6) to guitars with poetry (Track 17).
Speaking of Track 17, don’t listen to that one if you’re a fan of WTVA’s “Mornin’ Show.”  Part of the spoken-word goes off on the show, so only listen if you feel the same way. Meanwhile, Track 11 sounds like a kid’s tune, something like the White Stripes’ “We’re Going to be Friends.”
The Hamburger Hobos’ album has a way of taking you from the real world and transplanting you into the band’s world – that’s a good place to be.

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