Release Date: Oct 17, 2006
Record label: Leaf
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
A Hawk and a Hacksaw have fleshed out the Eastern European folk leanings that first appeared on 2005's Darkness at Noon by introducing the liquid band saw violin playing of Heather Trost and the dervish-like cacophony of the gypsy brass band Fanfare Ciocarlia. The Way the Wind Blows' spirit may have been bolstered by the authenticity of recording portions within the rustic confines of a small Romanian village, but that's a discredit to the endlessly inventive Jeremy Barnes, a seasoned world traveler who spent time behind the kit with one of indie rock's most celebrated team of pop revivalists/revisionists Neutral Milk Hotel. Barnes' accordion playing has grown leaps and bounds since Noon, and he goes toe-to-toe with both Trost and Fanfare Ciocarlia, weaving Beatlesque melodies into Balkan dirges like a man who has the lyrics of Revolver's "Love You To" tattooed on the roof of his mouth.
In the face of steadily crowded musical field of neo-Balkan impersonators and storytellers, Jeremy Barnes has conscripted reinforcements in order to bolster the sound of his own neo-'kan project, A Hawk and A Hacksaw. Even though the band is now officially duo with a gaggle of guests, Jeremy Barnes is still steering the ship, and with a surer compositional hand. Using the much-lauded Balkan folk collective Fanfare Ciocarlia as a studio backing band, A Hawk and A Hacksaw have taken a bona fide shot of authenticity from these legit veterans.