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Schwindy's indie music spotlight: Sassparilla (double album)

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Pasajero/Hullabaloo

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Not many bands come out with a double album these days. While Sassparilla hasn't necessarily released a double album in the true sense of the term, it has released two albums simultaneously. One is called Pasajero and one is called Hullabaloo.
Pasajero is a real interesting album. It begins with "Overture", which is as close to Morphine as I've heard in a long time. The mood of this song is as interesting as the sound. When you hear it, you feel like it should be sung in a dark, smoky basement by a bearded guy with a beret and a black turtleneck.

"What the Devil Don't Know" is another jazzy tune, but this one feels more like a Tom Waits song - particularly from Mule Variations. It's part jazz and part rock, but is generally hard to classify into any one category. While this album is pretty unpredictable, "Peaches" is a very unexpected song. With the organ and guitar, this sounds like a 70s rock song. It certainly is a change of pace from the songs that precede it.

Hullabaloo begins with "Through the Fence". This is a song that begs to be played on a front porch with a jug of moonshine at the feet of whomever is playing it. While the songs on the first album are intricate and layered, this is just guitar and vocals and what sounds like a foot tapping on wood. One thing is sure with Sassparilla. The band does not want you to know what's coming next on this double album. That being said, the first three songs of Hullabaloo are the first three songs on the double album that come close to being predictable. After the first album that brings Tom Waits and Soul Coughing to mind, the beginning of Hullabaloo have a country blues feel to them. While the entire album can't be described as country blues, the harmonica is prominent - especially throughout the first few songs.

This is rare even for a double album. From one song to the next, you can never be sure of what's coming next. Sassparilla manages to incorporate a variety of styles to always keep you guessing. This album is just as much for the fan of Tom Waits as it is for the fan of country blues. Check this double album out if you - like the cast of Monty Python - are looking for "Something completely different".

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