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Forget The Zoot Suits, The Zippers Got It

Squirrel Nut Zippers
Perennial Favorites

When I got this groups first album about 4 years ago, I had a hunch that it would only be a matter of time before they caught on. Not only did they create some wickedly catchy tunes, but they had a nice sense of nostalgia that, coupled with their songwriting, made them fairly unique. With their second album, Hot!, they got a hit with the song "Hell," and have now unfortunately been lumped in with the current swing revival.

Tossing them into that category, though, doesn't really make sense to me, and according to statements by the band, they don't agree either. For one thing, they've been around a lot longer than some of the current trend-riders, and for another thing, they're not even really swing. While they do have horns in their songs, and some tracks have a sort of swing structure, they encorporate a lot more than that into their music. They've got a bit of calypso, a bit of lounge, a bit of blues, and maybe a dash of swing. Because of all these influences and styles, though, it makes their albums much more inventive and interesting than most of the "swing" on the market now anyway.

Basically, if you've heard the group and liked their music before, you're not going to go wrong here. Over the course of 12 new tracks, they go through several different singers and styles, and from fast to slow and back again. While it's not the most inventive album in the world, it is solid and contains the same fun lyrics and varied instrumentation. Even after the swing thing blows over, Squirrel Nut Zippers will hopefully still be around.

Rating: 6.5