welcome folks! we’re starting a new discography this week, Squirrel Nut Zippers, who were formed in 1993 in North Carolina and pretty active in the 90s swing revival. i have heard a few songs by these folks before, but never dug in super deep, so i’m excited to check it out. we’re kicking things off with their debut record from 1995, The Inevitable Squirrel Nut Zippers.

Lover’s Lane is a very fun way to start the record – love the energy brought here. Danny Diamond has some very nice sultry vocals, and the loungey vibes are perfect for the topic of the track, haha. i like the trumpet heavy, rambunctious intro and the excellent bridge to I’ve Found A New Baby, but i go back and forth on the vocal performance here. Anything But Love is a very bittersweet, more mellow track. very nice string-focused song. i swear i’ve heard Good Enough For Granddad before, and yeah this song’s got a fantastic melody and the percussion keeps an excellent tempo here. fun song. Wished For You brings the tempo back down and switches vocalists again (more on that below), and this is a nice sweet moment. La Grippe sounds like it coulda been written for Tom Waits – a creepy, creeping kinda track. also, very different vibes on this track in the current day, ngl. still really like it, haha. Lugubrious Whing Whang is a great instrumental track. absolutely a good time. Club Limbo’s aight. i really like the vocalist on these lower tempo tracks but im not always hugely interested in the tracks they have her on. Wash Jones is another track in the “could be for Tom Waits/Sycamore Smith” camp, and i enjoy this one too. probably not one of my faves but still good nonetheless, and i think it could def get there. You’re Drivin’ Me Crazy feels like it was crafted to feel anachronistic. neat little track. Plenty More is a great closer. i LOVE the intro here, and there’s a sadness to the track even though the instrumentals are so optimistic, its great! big fan.

faves – Good Enough For Granddad, La Grippe, Lugubrious Whing Whang, Plenty More, Plenty More
dislikes –

yeah i dunno what i was expecting here but this is a very fun, diverse collection of tracks, all very swingy but shifting influence from jazzier, to loungier, to folkier in places. i do like that they enforced that variety by switching back and forth with vocalists and tempo (as id prefer that over two half-albums that sound and feel very different), but even with the two halves being interspersed its a pretty hard pivot in places and i can still feel a separation. on the whole, fun record, and it leaves me very excited for the other records!

The Inevitable Squirrel Nut Zippers – 6/10

next week, we’re taking a look at their follow up 1996 record, Hot. see y’all then!

this is the beginning | next: Hot

all my reviews for Squirrel Nut Zippers

have a suggestion for a discography for me to review? let me know!