Album Review :
Danielson - Trying Hartz

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Artist: Danielson
Album: Trying Hartz
Label: Secretly Canadian
Release Date: November 4, 2008
Review by: Eric Pettersson

Tracklist:
Disc 1:
1. Now Try
2. Body English
3. Flip Flop Flim Flam
4. Singers Go First
5. Jersey Loverboy
6. Animal In Every Corner (Version)
7. Rubbernecker
8. Sold! To The Nice Rich Man! (Live)
9. Thanx To Noah
10. Rallying The Dominoes
11. The Lord’s Rest (Live)
12. A Meeting With Your Maker
13. Daughters Will Tune You
14. Runnin’ To Brother

Disc 2:
1. A No No
2. Good News For The Pus Pickers
3. Don’t You Be The Judge (Live)
4. The Wheel Made Man
5. Fetch The Compass Kids (Live)
6. Idiot Boksen
7. Nice Of Me (Live)
8. Cutest Lil’ Dragon (Live)
9. Pottymouth
10. Southern Paws
11. I Am My Beloved’s (Live)
12. Hammers Sitting Still (Live)
13. Smooth Death
14. Cheer Hart

It must be hard to be a niche inside a niche inside a niche, but Danielson Famile Band has been doing it for a good fifteen years now. Chronicling the first ten years (94-04), is the two disc anthology Trying Hartz. Vocalist Daniel Smith’s ridiculously high vocals are reminiscent of The Blood Brothers, while his music is more comparable to Sufjan Stevens or Half-handed Cloud. The band members are mostly his brothers and sisters, and Smith is also known for wearing a tree costume on stage. The result is highly experimental indie rock with elements of grunge, folk, classical, gospel choir, jazz, and art rock all rolled into one. It’s fun, creative music and often very spiritually uplifting, sort of like the rock equivalent of the artsy Christian hip-hop act Souljunk. Original to the max, these tunes will certainly get you indie-cred, although most listeners will probably find it too “weird” to properly appreciate it or enjoy it. For those of you who have become intrigued, Trying Hartz is a great introduction to the band, with plenty of tracks throughout their history, including some rare and previously unreleased material, as well as songs from their six albums during this time period.

8/10

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