The eight-member ensemble uses drums, accordion, vocals, guitar, tuba, violins, theremin, pedal steel, cello and selected “found” soundbites on a concept album that explores the forgotten history and partially erased memories of the 20th century. Guitar static morphs into a 1929—just before the crash—radio broadcast that urges us to buy. Other metaphorical touchstones include the tale of an African pygmy kept in a cage in New York; the opening of the 1939 World’s Fair; Mathias Rust’s flight into Cold War Russia’s Red Square and the completion of the Transcontinental Railway. These narrative “ballads” are story-songs rudely broken into by some fairly explosive dynamics—strange sounding instruments, ethereal harmonies—that sweep us from the dustbins of American history into climes of Middle and Eastern European persuasions, suggesting the heart of darkness is an elastic thing.

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