Haymarket Orphans, Haymarket Orphans | Album Review | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Seven Days needs your financial support!

Haymarket Orphans, Haymarket Orphans 

(Self-released, CD)

Self-described "outspoken acoustic protest rock duo" Haymarket Orphans recently released a sparsely produced but powerful CD. The sound of the self-titled recording can be described as monochromatic: a riffing acoustic guitar, sometimes with a second plunking out a lead; bongo-style percussion; and a male vocal so far back in the mix that he might as well be singing in the next room. It's too bad; the words are worth hearing.

The Orphans know their message and stick to it. Charles Haymarket -- he and his female bandmate claim they "keep changing their names in order to avoid becoming famous" -- has a plaintive delivery that calls to mind the pop-inflected warblings of a young Lou Reed.

The liner notes suggest we're living "in a world that's been union bashed, civil and human rights denied, red baited, world warred, nuclear bomb scared, Cointelpro'd, Watergated, Vietnamed, wiretapped, consumer distracted, downsized, outsourced, Sept 11th lied to, Iraq War lied to, Gitmo'd and Abu Ghraibed, spied on, stalked, and facing endless debt, spiritual decline and a trashed Earth." In other words, we're talking about good, old-fashioned protest music.

Here are some of my favorite lyrics from this edgy, 10-song set. "Saratoga": "It's not fear that makes the man, but how he stares it down." "Flag Song": "Our flag's been ripped down and shredded, by those who claim to love it most." "Suits and Uniforms": "Tanks and guns and bombs and planes, these are uniforms at play / badges, rank, decorum, honor / When all else fails, get out the armor, laws and courts seem made of stone, ask no questions, no one's home / Sirens wail and lights a flashing, tensions build and heads a bashing, trouble brews investigations / who thinks cops have good intentions?"

But Haymarket's acoustic ire doesn't stop there. "Tiny Little Moon" describes the ultimate consequence of battle: "Tiny little moon, if someday you glance, and we've gone quiet, and war wins in the end, and we go cold and dry, tell us if it was worth it."

The result of such a lo-fi recording is that you have to pay close attention to decipher the band's impassioned prose. In this case, at least, it's a good thing.

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

More By This Author

About The Author

Robert Resnik

Comments


Comments are closed.

Since 2014, Seven Days has allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we’ve appreciated the suggestions and insights, the time has come to shut them down — at least temporarily.

While we champion free speech, facts are a matter of life and death during the coronavirus pandemic, and right now Seven Days is prioritizing the production of responsible journalism over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor. Or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.

Latest in Album Review

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative
newsletters:

All content © 2020 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401  |  Contact Us
Website powered by Foundation