Clem Snide Hungry Bird

Clem Snide Hungry Bird
This Brooklyn-based band have survived countless personnel changes and at least one break-up, and can now be considered veterans of the indie Americana scene. The one constant through their career has been leader and songwriter Eef Barzelay, and he is in generally strong creative form here. His tremulous vocals are typically drenched in melancholia but certain tones can become a little grating, as on "Hum." He deserves credit for imaginative wordplay, with images of bright fluorescent jet skis, homecoming queens and porn stars found on "Born A Man," and the evocatively titled and very pretty "Beard Of Bees." A two-minute spoken word piece from Frank Wright, "Encounter At 3 A.M.," adds to the variety. Barzelay produced, while the recording and mixing were done by Mark Nevers, known for his work with kindred spirits Lambchop. Instruments as disparate as trombone, accordion and banjo are integrated effectively, and subtle musical touches repay frequent listening. (429)