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Nathan Hall and the Sinister Locals — The Volga Sturgeon Face
(The Hip Replacement , 2017, CD)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2017-08-04

The Volga Sturgeon Face Cover art

The dark foreboding spiral staircase works its magic and draws you closer and closer. What lies around the bend and on up to the next floor? You cautiously approach, but cannot resist the temptation to climb. Suddenly you hear what could be the strains of The Lemon Pipers and “Green Tambourine.” But no, as you approach, the music and lyrics resolve and suddenly you realize what you are hearing is brand new. Nathan Hall & The Sinister Locals have lured you up the stairs and are now subjecting you to their new EP! Nathan Hall is the lead singer and one fourth of Cardiff’s Soft Hearted Scientists, who are taking a sabbatical and exploring different things for the next 12 months. This enticing song is “Everybody’s Burning Effigies,” three minutes of pure pseudo-60s psych pop complete with harpsichords, theremins, and analog synths. Now that the band has ensnared you, they bring it on with “Song for the Flowers,” an acoustic guitar hymn with beautiful Beach Boys-esque harmonies about resurrecting genocide victims, of all things. Then taking things one step further, Nathan and gang play an upbeat mournful song, I know, an oxymoron, about the end of an era, “Like a Setting Sun.” This song starts out with acoustic guitar and ends with electric guitars, drums, and strings. And before letting you go and run bewilderingly down the stairs to daylight, they reach their ghostly hands to you with the “Catacombs of Camden Town,” a call and response song between a man frightened by his unnoticed journey through life and common sense that says “Even the immortals are dead. Live your life, you fool.” And just like in faerie where time passes differently than in the mundane world, you’ve only invested 16 minutes of your life on this strange journey.

Filed under: New releases, 2017 releases

Related artist(s): Nathan Hall / Sinister Locals

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