A squeezebox from Austin is worth two kills

Sad Accordions – The colors and the kill

What happens when you give that fella from The Whiskey Priest, Seth Woods, a band, a distortion pedal and a bunch of brigands ready to play some tunes? You get Sad Accordions, a musical project with a sound ranging from some overclocked alt-country with a few post-rock thrown in for good measurements.

Mind you, it’s not The Whiskey Priest with distortion. Not at all. Even if there’s a couple of motifs that sound slightly familiar (‘Inside out’ sounds a bit like TWP’s ‘Way of the future’), the band feels like a whole different monster, with some rock sensibilities thrown for good measurement.

Album opener ‘Sacrificial Chumpsucker Diatribe’ sports a cool fade in, a thumping drumbeat that keeps the mood going and a catchy riff. Title’s quality too. The instrumental ending is a good presentation card for the band.

Showing a softer side is the slow groove of ‘You can’t hide from it’, the dreamy track with a lot of reverb and a sparse pace. Slightly reverberated, completely looking at itself through the mirrors of self-assessment until the final judgement (complete with overdriven fuzzed out guitar solo) comes. Again, a cool instrumental ending makes it an enjoyable jam (that drumming stuff by the end- nice touch).

‘Fallen Czars’ is an interesting one: starts with some droning rock (and some guitar pickups being beat up) but then evolves into something else. I do have a hard time trying to make up the lyrics due to the vocal being too processed but it adds to the charm, reminds me of some preacher doing a tirade over AM radio.

‘Savages’ is definitely my fave of this album. It’s dreamy, filled with those little soundscapes in the back and the leisure pace is fantastic. The yearning in Woods’ voice welds it all together. That bit with “a little savagery is all I need” while the dreamy guitar in the back is doing some sustain is possibly my own personal fave moment of this recording. Hopelessness, dreams broken and the sound of a thousand thoughts rushing through your head, breaking the sound barrier, that’s what this song sounds like.

It’s hard to do a follow-up, so Sad Accordions just put the rocking boots on again and let it all out with ‘Inside out’, a poppier but nonetheless cool song. ‘The holy desert blooms’ is a little more unplugged than the rest of the material, the sweet swansong that piles on a few interesting layers that just seep through undetected.

It’s only six songs, but they are a bit lengthy and full of interesting ideas. There are some rather unfortunate comparisons bandied around, so we’ll leave them floating somewhere else, as this is a band with an own sound which can go wherever they wish it to be. They have a good deal of knowledge over how to manipulate their own sound and are not afraid to experiment with it. Wouldn’t mind another album like The color and the kill, no siree bob.

Words: —Sam


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