Maher Shalal Hash Baz
Blues Du Jour
Released: 12/2003
Label: Geographic
Catalog #: 24
Rating:  Not Yet Rated

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CD Available (2-3 day) No Yes $17.99

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It makes sense that loose pop Scots The Pastels would take a shine to Japan’s Maher Shalal Hash Baz, for their 20 year old sound is an equally ragged take on classic pop. Off the wall arrangements of guitar, drums, euphonium and saxophone create a musical trip of childlike charm, bursting with ideas. There are 41 songs here, all very short with an almost punk urgency. Odd biblical references are sung in broken English to a folk-based music that is equally Velvets pop and Incredible String Band whimsy. Main members Tori Kudo, his wife Reiko and Hiro Nakazaki hooked up with The Pastels in East Kilbride, Scotland to create this engaging opus, of which Wire magazine mused: “(It’s) as if Syd Barrett had joined the Salvation Army”.

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