welcome folks! this week we’re checking out Beasts of Burgundy, the second most recent Squirrel Nut Zippers record at time of writing. after Bedlam Ballroom, the band went their separate ways after lead singers Katherine Whalen and Jimbo Mathus divorced. they reunited in the late aughts, performing some live shows and releasing a live record, but not putting out any other studio records. in 2016, Mathus got together a revival band for the 20th anniversary of Hot, and after continuing to tour, they released Beasts of Burgundy in 2018.

Conglomeration of Curios is the opener to this album – a bit darker and moodier than a lot of what they’ve done before. Karnival Joe (from Kokomo) jumps right in at the end of Conglomeration with a much more familiar high-energy sound. this one’s a fun little toe tapper, haha. Pay Me Now (or Pay Me Later!) is a mellow, funny little track. love the vibes on this one. Beasts of Burgundy hews a lot closer to the vibes of the opener on the record, and man it feels like they listened to a lot of Tom Waits for this one, haha. Hey Shango! is aight. they do one of my favorite things with Something Wicked (pt 2), where the second half comes quite a bit before the first. not a big fan of the track though. West of Zanzibar is another one that sounds nice but isn’t really for me. on the other hand, Rusty Trombone is extremely funny to me. its juvenile and silly but it’s got a great energy to it. Use What Mama Gave You plays in a similarly humorous space, electing instead for a jazzier, struttier vibe to it, which i also find very fun. Axman Jazz (Don’t Scare Me Papa) is an instrumental track that honestly goes pretty hard. lotta fun space explored over this three minute and change track, and im a fan. Something Wicked (pt 1) closes the loop with another instrumental track, and it’s fine. Fade is the closing track here, and it’s somber and functional as a closer.

faves – Pay Me Now (or Pay Me Later!), Rusty Trombone, Axman Jazz (Don’t Scare Me Papa)
dislikes –

yeah there’s some fun vibes on this one, and i do appreciate the playing with slightly darker tone and leaning into some of the carnival stuff, but this one didn’t land as well for me. i’m not sure if i’m just feeling a bit burnt out on the swing this deep in the discography, or if this is the fate of post-breakup records, but i’m just not as big into this one.

Beasts of Burgundy – 4/10

next week, i’ll be taking a break from normal programming to check out some other records, but the week after we’ll be wrapping up the Squirrel Nut Zipper discography with Lost Songs of Doc Souchon, released in 2020.

first: The Inevitable Squirrel Nut Zippers | previous: Bedlam Ballroom | next: Lost Songs of Doc Souchon

all my reviews for Squirrel Nut Zippers

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