Thin Man Greasy Heart

If English-born, Chicago-based musician Kennedy Greenrod is on a mission to make the accordion cool again (assuming it ever was in the first place), this latest effort from his Thin Man quartet suggests he has succeeded, and with aplomb. Whereas his Canadian contemporary Geoff Berner has raised the squeezebox’s profile of late via an updated, whiskey-soaked variety of Klezmer, Greenrod’s drink is gin and his stylistic variation alternates between gritty roots rock, alt-country and dark cabaret. In fact, his accordion only really plays a starring role on about half of these tracks. But when it does, it conjures a surprisingly effective blend of Americana and Eastern European nuances. However, the balance of these tunes affords equal billing to guitar and organ, and the solid thump-rattle of the unit’s double bass augmented rhythm section. At times an aural dead ringer for House of Love crooner Guy Chadwick, Greenrod is a gifted lyricist with a hopelessly romantic bent and a sense of humour at times seemingly informed by Charles Bukowski: In one song, our hero woos a mate with a repeated promise to "clean toilets to bring you wine.” One can only imagine what task might have been required to secure the take-away curry. (Klang Elektronik)