With the bandmembers spread across the continent -- some still in Manitoba, others in Toronto, and one in Arizona -- Das Macht Show!'s second release still manages to sound more together than the debut (no doubt due to the regular get-togethers for shows and festivals across Canada). The band draws on a number of acoustic influences again, including folk, bluegrass, swing, country, klezmer, and even mariachi. Mostly, the songs have a very traditional feel; you could easily imagine much of this emerging from an acoustic jam at the beginning of the previous century if it weren't for lyrical tip-offs like "Don't Become a Man"'s plea to a friend not to get that sex change (or for the occasional tasteful electric guitar solo or turntable break, for that matter). It's that traditional sound and the sense of humor shown throughout the rest of the album that makes it possible for Murray Evans to throw in his political commentary without it feeling like a hammer in the face; the charged commentary of "Charlie Territory" and "Marching Over the Bones" is split down the middle by "Holidays in Space," the pro-vegetarian "Four Legs Good" is followed up by "Don't Become a Man," and the emotionally heavy "Lips Like Secrets" is followed up by chicken clucking in the cover of Bernstein/Sondheim's "Jet Song." The drawing point for many will certainly be Das Macht Show!'s version of the Elvis Costello song "Veronica," but the rest of the album certainly holds its own next to such a killer tune.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Sean Carruthers