Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

Tin Hat

The Sad Machinery of Spring

2007-03-23

The Sad Machinery of Spring the reconfigured, largely instrumental group specifically looked for inspiration in the works of surrealist Polish writer Bruno Schulz, who was killed by the Nazis in 1942. The essence of klezmer and related Eastern European sounds hover over Sad Machinery's compositions and improvisations, but Tin Hat is too unorthodox and resourceful to be so obvious. There is a balance of many moods and sonic variations among these tracks, ranging from playful and carefree to bucolic to jarringly eccentric. Whether that reflects Schulz's own creations most listeners will probably never know, but no matter: Sad Machinery is hardly a passive listening experience, but it's never boring. 4.5 out of 5 stars. allmusic.com Despite the departure of founder member Rob Burger, Tin Hat have produced possibly their deepest, most beguiling work with The Sad Machinery of Spring; their fifth album released in their ten years together…With instrumentation ranging from dobro to the massive contra alto clarinet (everyone except Parkins seems to play about 15 different instruments), Tin Hat have increased their already expansive and totally acoustic palette into something even richer and stranger. Amazingly accomplished and beautifully recorded work from a group of preternaturally talented musicians. Record of the year material, and it's only January... –The BBC

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