The Underground Stream

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Ham1's third album, clocking in at less than 28 minutes, is a modest effort in terms of both length and craft -- the tracks sound like they are first run-throughs, not even first takes -- but a more ambitious one in terms of musical scope. This is a band that seemingly wants to play in a different style on nearly every tune, from the country-rock of "Will You Ever See Me Again?" that leads things off, to the early Beatles feel of "Thylacine" and the Velvet Underground-style fundamental rock of "I Wave Back," and that's not even counting the easy listening ("Mel Bay," "The Underground Stream") and found sound ("Potato Gun") instrumentals. The album has the tone of a bunch of semi-amateur musicians with eclectic taste getting together on a Sunday afternoon to bash out some music without working at it too hard or thinking about it too much. But as usual with Ham1, it's the music's ramshackle, thrown-together quality that gives it its whimsical charm.