Review Summary: A bunch of drunken, vaudeville inspired punks screaming and flailing on their instruments never sounded so good.2 of 2 thought this review was well written
What makes Oregonian bluegrass-meets-punk rockers Larry and His Flask, and more specifically their Hobo's Lament EP, so great is the synergy between band members and how they all seem to compliment each other so well. With six members in the band, it becomes easy to drown out some of the more subtle sounds or even sound a bit redundant. LAHF however do not fall into this trap. They compose their songs in such a way as to make clear the significance of every instrument and voice at any given time while still being able to retain their signature "big" sound.
And that sound is as big as ever, the songs are fast, catchy and upbeat as well. In doing this Larry and His Flask have done well on Hobo's Lament to keep variety at the forefront when it comes to songwriting. Some of the fastest and slowest songs in Larry's catalog are present this time around, the former being the so-crazy-they-just-make-up-words wild hayride that is "Swing" and the latter a beautifully composed, stripped down song that shows the more tame side of LAHF. The variety gives Hobo's Lament a more "complete" feel, and is a testament to the fact that Larry and His Flask are extremely well rounded musicians.
The only reason Hobo's Lament does not sound like a bunch of drunken, vaudeville inspired punks screaming and flailing on their instruments is because of how damn talented they are. If anything they still sound like the aforementioned though with a supernatural ability to make that mess of influences sound fantastic. The truth is, for how reckless and crazy they may look during their live show, Larry and His Flask have a very detail oriented dynamic to their sound. The harmonized vocals between the band members fit together almost too well, and is done in all the right places. Take for example the "No matter how long" lines during opening track "Closed Doors" - it boosts the booming nature of the chorus without becoming gratuitous. Additionally the arrangement of horn sections in the EP's best track "Swing" and the absolutely awesome mandolin solo in the title track display the masterful compositions they've made in Hobo's Lament.
Through the EP it is easy to tell that the members of Larry and His Flask realize the importance of synergy between each other. Some of the best moments of the EP display that, whether it's the guitar solo under lead singer Jamin Marshall's best impression of Tom Waits in "My Name is Cancer" or even the great vocal performance by all members during the end of "So Long". Larry and His Flask really understand who they are, and they know how to bring out the best in each other. That, coupled with the entertainingly original yet wonderfully fleshed out unique sound of theirs, makes for one killer EP. Hobo's Lament encapsulates LAHF as a band and it's their best work to date.