The Strumbellas My Father and the Hunter

The Strumbellas My Father and the Hunter
The Strumbellas serve as a friendly reminder not to judge a book by its cover or in this case, a band by their moniker. The punny band name is evocative of a Mr. Dressup, silly style of music making, but the music on the band's debut, My Father and the Hunter, is anything but. The album is full of high energy, earnest folk music, coupled with darker-tinged gothic folk. "The Bird That Follows Me" is a great example, where songwriter Simon Ward ends the song with the stark lyrics, "Well, I believe because death has always won the last hand." The album successfully evokes the feeling of a live jam. The litany of instruments and the choir of voices backing up Simon Ward's lead help this effect along. "Rhinestone," "The Sheriff" and "Underneath a Mountain" are highlights on what is a fantastic debut album. I'm sorry I ever judged you, Strumbellas! (Independent)