Damaged | Merge
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  September 18, 2006
2.5 2.5 Stars

Lambchop are the band playing in the bar of Nashville’s nicest hotel as the world collapses around them. For more than a decade the sprawling avant-country collective have been making luxuriously weird recordings that layer frontman Kurt Wagner’s darkly comic musings on life and death (mostly death) over his mates’ solid-gold soundscaping, which imagines what would’ve happened if Ray Charles’s Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music had left a bigger wake on Music Row than 20 of Hank Williams’ Greatest Hits. Here’s one of Wagner’s best lines from the group’s aptly titled latest: “I have always thought that handguns were made for shooting people rather than for sport.” If that doesn’t make you laugh, Lambchop probably aren’t the band for you. Damaged isn’t the most tuneful record Wagner and company have made — that would be 2000’s Nixon. But in cuts like “Crackers,” where the frontman croaks asthmatically about “where babies come from” while a starburst guitar twinkles in the background, they prove that there’s plenty of juice left in their oddball proposition.

Lambchop with the Tosca String Quartet + Hands Off Cuba | Paradise Rock Club, 967 Comm Ave, Boston | September 22 | 617.228.6000

Related: Prime time, James Brown, Street Fight, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , Richard Nixon, Ray Charles, Hank Williams
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