Music Reviews

Tin Hat Trio

The Rodeo Eroded


Ay! The Tin Hat Trio has released another album. The content? Feckless pap, carefully crafted, grit-reduced for your pleasure. To quickly reiterate Tin Hat’s history, the San Franciscan trio is comprised of a guitarist, violinist and accordionist, and have made a living by playing their admittedly eclectic blend of country, tango, Spaghetti Western, and French Cabaret. The new album, The Rodeo Eroded continues in their three year tradition of taking exciting music and reducing it to dreary intervallic relationships. Oh yeah, with a bunch of instruments, their potential carefully cultivated for maximum novelty. Tubas and accordions are weird, sure, but the gimmick wears thin. Instrumentation is not enough to salvage the monotonous and similar songs that passively wait to be included on an in-store music sampler at your favorite coffee shop.

Willie Nelson adds some vocals on one track, as Tom Waits had a guest spot on the previous Helium album, most likely due to one of the Tin Hat’s ineffectually trying to bestow credibility on a pugnaciously, mind-numbing release.

Hell, the album isn’t even that bad, and that accentuates precisely what’s wrong with it. It’s another album created, just to be talked over, or to be put in the background of a film, or to be inexplicably praised by some dimwit at Rolling Stone. Look again at the celebrities they’re affiliated with, Philip Glass, Tom Waits, Phish, and now Willie Nelson. All musicians who haven’t done a lick of fantastic work for at least a decade now (If at all, and by the way, I’m going to be the person who puts his foot down about the last three Waits albums, sorry.) Pass on this one, gang.

Tin Hat Trio:

Prudence McFort

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