Are Not Amused
Reviewed by Chase Hoffberger, Fri., Nov. 29, 2013
Berkshire HoundsAre Not Amused
Whereas 2012's Greatest Hits drove bastardized rock through rust-worn speakers, this second album from local derelicts Berkshire Hounds sequences more like Sublime's Robbin' the Hood, with quick skits, hip-hop, and a little Tom Waits weaving between the city's gutsiest young songwriting ("Yellow Red, and Then Blue"). Credit pack leaders Jim Campo and Spencer Garland for making the swift 20 tracks on Are Not Amused fit. For starters, they pace the songs that stand out ("Shed Skin," "Small Talk," the Girls Can Tell-caliber pop of "I-35"), and the compact nature of the tangents: rapper Rockstar Rell's two fly guest spots on "New Jack" and "What's New," plus the minute-long jazz under a drunk's glass harmonica on "One More Zinfandel, Garcon." Then there's the multiphased attack of "Thelonious Types," which provides a poetic crowning achievement – the 50-second dance between tenor saxophone and Campo's jabbing guitar – at the album's exact midpoint.