Album, Single and EP Reviews



  The Kingmaker’s Shuffle by The Agrarians

The Kingmaker’s Shuffle cover art

Artist: The Agrarians
Title: The Kingmaker’s Shuffle
Catalogue Number: No catalogue number
Review Format: CD
Release Year: 2008

You might have heard the Bluesbunny speak of The Agrarians before. From Baltimore, Maryland they send forth strange music to confuse and intrigue us. They do it often as well so yet another album - "The Kingmaker's Shuffle" - clattered through the letterbox recently here at Bluesbunny Towers.

Whilst The Agrarians will never be commercial, they have, as time has progressed, become more accessible. They're still hard work however. The obscure, awkward lyrics still seem like they have come from a Shakespeare obsessed  modern day troubadour but the sound is much cleaner this time as the band escape the confines of their lo-fi sonic straightjacket using, of all things, pyschedelia. Yes, they The Agrarians sound like an obscure sixties band from San Francisco. Bloody hell, "This is Our Field Song" even has melody. The inspired madness is still there in "Drink the Elixir" but the packaging - for want of a better word - is much slicker. It's like Captain Beefheart walking into the fog (or maybe the metaphors in the lyrics are starting to get to me). I might accidentally have stumbled on something there. This isn't background music. You have to work at it and try to figure out what it might mean. That's always been the case with this band but this time they have at least wrapped it up in nice blue ribbon.

So, have The Agrarians sold their soul to the Devil. Well, perhaps the Devil has taken out an option to buy… Whilst this album does not have the same place in my affections as "The Infidelity Narratives", it is at least an album where people won't ask me to explain Matt Perzinski's lyrics. Not often, anyway. Nice one!

Available from The Agrarians themselves.
Review Date: November 9 2008