Review: The Brass Taps – Shoulder Season

Looking for a comedic neo swing album filled with fun puns? Well The Brass Taps – Shoulder Season is the perfect album to enjoy for some laughs. The album uses a mixture of swing jazz and comedy. Sure enough to put a smile on your face. You have songs that are filled with fun such as Reboot, Drunk Mosquito, and Ghost Tram. This is some of the lesser known Australian jazz.

Now some of the production is a bit medium quality due to the instrumentation being sustained. But that does not stop the album from being pleasureful. The production consists of loud MIDI keyboards and software. Admiringly the MIDI keyboard makes the album’s production seem a bit dated.

Reboot is a comedic swing jazz song about Bernard rerouting his internet server after running several clients as he plays the role of an internet provider. The users get cranky as they get impatient with the internet server and Bernard. Hilarity ensues in a comedic manner as Bernard faces many wacky scenarios, humorous events, and quirky situations. The song uses several references to modern technology unsurprisingly.

Bernard has got to reboot the router because the internet server is running Vista. The client’s running Linux and the handheld’s running Maemo. He’ll modify the hosts file. Bernard is short a cable but he’ll wire up a spare.

Internet Explorer’s gone all screwy since he turned off network browsing. The users have a problem but they won’t read their instructions. The office suite’s annoying but it’s blocked by anti-virus. What’s the Workgroup or Domain Name? He still can’t see his share.

The Manager’s new gizmo has the sales crew feeling nervous. There’s the smell of something burning and it’s probably pirate CDs There’s video surveillance but the picture’s kinda grainy. The emails with attachments and the hackers sending spam. He needs to find the WEP key to help him navigate the O:\drive. The users getting cranky that they can’t upload their photos. All of that hardware and software must have built up too much static. Bluetooth needs upgrading and the laptop needs more RAM.

However the satellite’s stopped tracking. So Bernard ends up calling the help desk based in Bangalore, India. They say the update’s having problems. The PHP’s gone haywire but the Java’s hanging in there. The fax machine is jamming and the toner’s getting low. The database is deadlocked and the XSL’s confusing. Users are now screaming that the intranet is useless. And the VOIP’s been reconfigured, in the meantime phones keep ringing. The IP address is static but the downloads still seem slow.

Bernard is trying to block the porn sites while rendering some graphics. The LAN still has conniptions and the grammar checker is foreign. The processor’s overclocking and the website needs an update. Now he’s gotta pick up all the hardware from the other side of town. The landlines need a massage and the mobile signal is getting stolen. The mobile signal keeps dropping because of this. The users are just stupid and the contractor’s a nutcase. It’s not like they ever call back and the ISP is down. Now customers come intruding Bernard with more complaints.

My Slow-Dance Baby (Makin’ Moves On Me) explained how Bernard’s lady is a slow dancer. The song uses an improvised tempo of 90 BPM and uses the key of F Major. A slow sustained electronic horn selection is used throughout the duration of the song.

She knows knows how it could be. But Bernard knows how it should be. His senses is calling but his heart doesn’t agree. His slow-dance baby is makin’ moves on him as she slowly dances the night away. Bernard feels like this is an open agenda because she feels warm and tender. And it’s with foreboding. He moves gingerly.

She’s so sophisticated. He’s so trepidated and intimidated that she’s prescribing tactile therapy. Bernard has got honest intentions. But she’s got divine interventions. Won’t somebody answer his plea?

Swing The Sickle is about a pretty poltergeist followed by a ghostly dance with ghosts. The song explains Bernard’s encounters with several ghosts. The song uses sounds from the paranormal as you can hear the sound of a ghostly chorus from underneath the ground throughout the song.

Bernard was dead on his feet as he walked down the street in the moonlight. There was nothing to see. Just a cemetery. Then his hackles stood upright. And through the silence, he heard. Then the thought just occurred, He was dreaming. But the spectre of doom from the wide open tomb left him screaming.

Because all at once he heard the sound of a ghostly chorus from underneath the ground singing, “Swing the sickle, reaper, swing it low As you send those swinging sinners down below And you swing your sickle, reaper, swing your scythe Every swinging sinner, swinging for their life”

There were ghostly bouncers. Bernard could barely see them as they led him down inside the mausoleum. The door girl was an apparition. But she didn’t charge him anything because it was free admission. Some little devils came and took his jacket. And he felt the chills and heard the awful racket with the horns a-soaring and the bones a-wailing. All the mists a-swirling and the ferry man sailing.

All the fires raging and the brimstone boiling. All the flesh was weakened. All the mortals coiling with the deadly rhythms. All the bodies swaying with some zombie lindy and some vampire slaying. The voodoo barman serving spirits infernal. Bernard just couldn’t hide from the waves of terror because he kept hearing morbid voices from the other side singing. Bernard nearly fell into a trance when a female ghost asked him for a dance.

Ghost Tram told the epic haunting story of Bernard’s ride on a ghost train. The song uses sounds from the paranormal.

Bernard was wandering around late at night around the grid laid out by Hoddle. He had been drinkin’ down his troubles and his gait turned to a waddle past the Town Hall and Cathedral with his eyesight going waxy. But he had missed the last train and had no money for a taxi.

Bernard knew he would make his way home at some point when some headlights approached in a glide with a glowing pantograph and a familiar silhouette. The stop signs extended as the doors opened wide. So he climbed on inside so that he could take a ride upon the Ghost Tram. The Ghost Tram will welcome you aboard. But you never can alight despite how much you pull the cord. When your mortal days are done, you’ll no longer be in Zone One.

He started to suspect that this was transport underhanded. The passengers were expressionless. But that’s just pretty standard. The décor was of woodgrain with a flash of green and yellow. He saw a girl reading Lonely Planet. (The edition for Valhalla.)

The conductor from Hell with a manifest rang the bell twice and sent everyone headlong to the terminus a speed of nearly 35 kilometres an hour (35 km/hr). His soul began to cower as he realised the power of the Ghost Tram as it whooshes down the route. You’ll see nothing through the windows of your terminal commute. Though your journey is prepaid, it’s a fare you want to evade.

Bernard tried to swipe his ticket. But his ticket was already valid. He looked around the cabin and every countenance was pallid. Perhaps they need nutrition. Or perhaps it’s just a folly. But there weren’t any refreshments or tea upon this trolly. And his instincts disparaging the current situation. In the flicker of incandescent light. Is this his means of carriage, or his final destination? To be clinging to his strap for the eternity of night?

They were squeezed in pretty tight. But everyone was so polite upon the Ghost Tram as it trundles down the track forever heading onwards and never turning back.

The Ghost Tram is built of iron, wood and glass. It’s a hearseful of W-Class with sparks and arcs a-strobe. Hear the spectral voice of Batman, Monash, Fawkner and LaTrobe where despondency is rife. The Ghost Tram take you on the ride of your life.

I rate this album 4/5****.

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