Eugene Chadbourne

Homeland Security

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A follow-up protest album to New War, released in December 2001, Homeland Security culls previously unreleased solo performances recorded live and in the studio between 1990 and 2002. Typically edited on the fly and with shaky sound quality for a couple tracks, this home release still hits the right buttons to interest even the casual fan. If you don't mind the D.I.Y. production, it is actually a pretty decent album from Eugene Chadbourne the singer/songwriter, even if it lacks a bit of fresh songs. Things start with a new number based on Donovan's "Wear Your Love Like Heaven": "Classify Terror by Color" is a cynical but well-thought-out critique of U.S. politics a year after the September 11, 2001, attacks. Following is a good selection of old favorites and inventive covers. "Nazi Punks Fuck Off" and "We Keep the KKK in Line" still sound too up to date for listeners' own good. "Checkers of Blood" stands as a highlight, beautifully (and somewhat soberly) performed. Malvina Reynolds' "Boraxo," Phil Ochs' "The Parade," and Ed Sanders' "Jimmy Joe, the Hippybilly Boy" are Chadbourne-ified with the best intentions -- and results. The CDR concludes with a rendition of Ray Wylie Hubbard's "Up Against the Wall, You Redneck Mother" backed by the 2002 edition of the Chadbournes (Walter Daniels, Barry Mitterhof, and Zu's Roy Paci). Of course, there are still plenty of banjo and guitar solos to go around, plus the occasional audience participation and oddball introductions. In short, a keeper.

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