Delegates “The Diary Of Hamilton Fish”

Album Reviews | Aug 30th, 2005

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Record Label: Bankshot! Records
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I’ve heard this Montreal based band described as both punk with horns and as a ska band. Both of those descriptions are false. The Diary Of Hamilton Fish is above and beyond both of those descriptions and falls somewhere out in the beyond.

I don’t want to say that the Delegates are a harder sounding version of Pink Floyd because, no offense, but they are nowhere in their league. What I can say is that the Delegates take so many different musical genres and they bend them into an amazing collection of sonic arrangements that is relatively similar to something that would have been done by the Sandinista!-era Clash. Blended throughout the songs on The Diary Of Hamilton Fish is everything from hard rock, metal, punk, jazz, reggae and ska.

Menno, the lead vocalist reminded me a lot of the lead singer of the Blue Meanies at times and the lead singer of the Rx Bandits at other times. Reading through the lyrics, I feel as if I’m taking a trip with Alice through Wonderland or listening to the Presidents of the United States of America. Songs about pink shoes growing on trees, a talking fish, and ants in your pants either make you chuckle or make you think about what the true meaning of those songs are about. I think that the one thing that really makes this album more than just another progressive rock album would have to be the horns. They add another dimension to all of the songs without drowning out the other instruments or the lyrics. Production value is top notch with all the mixes sounding as if they are at the same level. One of the other interesting quirks with Hamilton Fish are the illustrations that are sprinkled throughout the booklet and CD case. Kudos to the lowbrow/Dr. Seuss style sketches by Sara A. Martin. The art adds to the overall “weirdness” of the album in general.

If you are looking for something that can’t be labeled as any specific musical genre with just a touch of the weird, then this might just be the album for you at the moment. I found myself listening to it a couple of times already. I really can’t put my finger on it as to why I like it that much. It’s just good, I guess. Bon Voyage lady in the zeppelin.

Bottom Line:
Notable Tracks: Hamilton Fish, Dark Sound, Escape From Pants, You Got Me
Overall Rating: