Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Freak Fandango Orchestra - 2011 - Tales of a Dead Fish

Gypsy Punk

<a href="http://freakfandango.bandcamp.com/">?</a>
Have you ever heard of gypsy punk? You're about to.
The Freak Fandango Orchestra will not be everyone's cup of tea, the genres at work here are so seemingly at odds most of the time it can confound and confuse. Others will grab a a draft and dance around a tavern with their lass. Gypsy punk, from what I've come to understand over time, is a mix of punk music and the traditional music of the Roma ('gypsies' – I do dislike this loaded term, personally). To break it down, you've got what sounds like polka, folk, rock, swing, and punk all coming together to form one sound that is really unlike any other (even a bit of jazz in here). Thankfully this is sung mostly in English (good luck deciphering Gogol Bordello if you dare).“Tales of a Dead Fish” is lively and cheery, good for a stroll through town or a bar brawl. Tongue is firmly in cheek lyrically here, but you're not missing out on any joke, these are the sounds of people having a lot fun making kind of weird music. This might be a concept album about a touchy-feely hitman, but I'm not 100% sure. Fun all around really. I mean come on, 'No Means No' has got to be the swinging-est song about sexual harassment in human history. All of the instruments are uniformly excellent, nary a rough edge or distortion to be found here. There are just too many to go into details, suffice to say The FFO make fiddles and accordions cool again. The vocals are also great, with a Spanish accent added to the traditional folk delivery (it's a nice touch for me, as a native English speaker anyway). “Tales of a Dead” has the songs for a night of non-stop drinking and revelry during a game of Dungeons and Dragons. I can see your head has exploded. This really must be heard to be believed.

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