The Captain’s Table
Let me begin with a disclaimer: I had never heard Ham1’s music before receiving The Captain’s Table for this review. With that said, about a minute into the choppy lo-fi “Clown-Shoed Feet” I was completely repulsed by what initially sounded like every ska trombone line ever written. I was immediately seized by high school flashbacks and I had to put the disc away for some time. I wasn’t ready to face those demons. It took some time to break through the mental barriers I have constructed to keep the past at bay, but with a more concerted listen, I happily realized my initial impressions were wrong. Ham1 isn’t a ska band at all; they’re just a bunch of spaced out surf-rockers more akin to Man or Astroman? than the Mighty Mighty Bosst… oh you know who I mean.
With my senses clear, Ham1 sounds great. The Captain’s Table is an upbeat and textured album replete with shouts, trombones, cellos, tons of percussion, and even more vocals. “Saluki” plays like a cross between a surf instrumental and a campy UFO flick. “How Can You Watch TV With A Dead Person?” adds some country western twang before moving into the strange summer dreaminess of “Methmouth.” I get hints of Silver Jews and Grandaddy throughout, leaving me happy, humming, and still in denial about the past.
Orange Twin: www.orangetwin.com