February 4, 2010
Veteran Folk Rockers, The Men They Couldn’t Hang are back with some all new material in their newest release, Devil On The Wind, their fifteenth since the band’s formation way back in 1985.
The Men They Couldn’t Hang have always created a vaguely dream-like atmosphere with their music, going from toothy and aggressive, with songs like the foreboding title track, and the scary, campfire-appropriate monster tale, The Beast of Brechfa, to melodic, sweet stories of times past, like Mrs. Avery or Heartbreak Park.
The years have not changed the band’s cleanly identifiable sound, either, and all of those elements are in full effect here. The subtly country/alt. rock, peppered with folk instrumentation and all done with crystal clear production that allows every note, word, and beat to be heard with perfect clarity.
That aforementioned instrumentation, augmenting the band’s regular line-up, consists of guests on violin, squeezebox, banjo, harmonica, trumpet, Uilleann pipes, piano, mandolin and dulcimer. And although TMTCH’s punk edges and burrs seem to have been worn into a more seasoned and polished sound over the years, this variety of instruments gives a greater depth to the assortment of sounds and moods on Devil on The Wind.
It is difficult to categorize or classify the sound of The Men They Couldn’t Hang with any accuracy, unless one has heard TMTCH. If you have, then Devil On The Wind may be something you should look into. It is (yet another!) strong addition to this long-running band’s impressive catalog!
Review by Christopher P. Toler, THE Blathering Gommel