Drakkar Sauna Jabraham Lincoln

[Label; 2007]

Rating: 3/5

Styles: folk troubadours, two dudes with guitars
Others: Thanksgiving, The Watery Graves of Portland, Viking Moses

Enjoying what you do for a living is a pretty good feeling. You get up every weekday morning looking forward to work, don't dread Monday all weekend long, and take shits with gusto. Drakkar Sauna enjoy what they do too, but there's something off about their output. It's very silly. They sound like two guys who would rather drop a turd in their boss' coffee than finish the paperwork due later that day. I'm down with pranks and shenanigans as much as the next person, but it's not quite as interesting when reflected on an album.

Regardless, Jabraham Lincoln is upbeat, catchy, and damn clever. These two troubadours harmonize on all sorts of ridiculous topics, with occasionally funny, rough around the edges, mildly subversive lyrics ("I can't digest certain types of drugs/ But I won't give up" sung in a warble harmony off "Paul's Letter to St. Job" or "There's not enough/ Tits on a wolf" off of, ahem, "There's not enough tits on a wolf"). It's all backed by sparse instrumentation -- acoustic guitar is on every track, with a sprinkling of drums, tambourine, and harmonophone filling out the rest. These instruments are neither played by virtuosos nor even properly trained musicians, but they're played with such spunk that it doesn't really matter.

There are no rules broken here, no envelopes pushed, no boundaries surpassed, but this still isn't a standard affair. Song structures are loosely based on verse-chorus-verse, with the two occasionally blending together. Not everything is played perfectly in key and you'll hear a mistake here or there, but it all just adds flavor to the result. This isn't supposed to be over-produced pop music, so the rough production and mixing is appropriate. As such, listening to Jabraham Lincoln gives no illusions about what the band sounds like in a live setting, which is most likely a back porch on a warm, dusky evening. Drakkar Sauna are making some interesting music, but by scaling back the absurdity and taking their work a little more seriously, there's potential for a less transient affair.

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