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The Gourds

Heavy Ornamentals – 2006 (Eleven Thirty)

Reviewed by David McPherson

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CDs by The Gourds

The Gourds, those weird and wacky Texas twisters of language and inventors of their own musical stew, are back with another mish mash of songs to whet your appetite. Moving just as easily from zydeco to folk, from waltzes to foot-stompin' beats and from blues to country rock, these Austin natives continue to confound critics and defy classification.

In today's world of assimilated sounds and mainstream Nashville copycats, this genre-bending style is definitely a good thing. The new record, their eight full-length disc, follows the equally eclectic "Blood on the Ram" (2004).

From the jambalaya of New Orleans ("Hooky Junk"), driven by a kick-ass accordion, to the baked beans of Texarkana ("The Education Song"), you don't know what you're going to get with these fire and brimstone boys. Strange poetic turns in their lyrics and abrupt rhythm changes within songs are all unorthodox, but truly are The Gourds signature, and that is why it's hard not to love these musical experimenters. Overall, "Heavy Ornamentals" offers 13 entertaining songs that are truly a gorgeous gumbo of musical soup.