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TDA! Squeeze Box


YEAR 1997 -

More Reviews of the Album, No Strings Attached (See 1996 for other reviews of this CD) Other Years...

The Memphis Flyer: Turn Up That Noise!
An eclectic survey of recent recordings SEPTEMBER 29, 1997:
"Pity the poor accordion, the Rodney Dangerfield of musical instruments. Used mainly as a comic prop or object of derision, its function as an expressive and versatile mode of musical delivery has been obscured over the years. Although several alternative bands have restored some credence to the accordion in recent memory (most notably Brave Combo and They Might Be Giants), the true champions for the cause are the West Coast-based octet Those Darn Accordions! Establishing their domain as a solid hybrid of traditional pop, polka, and the novelty factor (à la "Weird" Al Yankovic), Those Darn Accordions! show the world just what an accordion can do on their third release, No Strings Attached. Initiating a steady progression with their first recorded effort (a cassette-only release titled Vongole Fisarmonica) to their first full-length CD on Flying Fish (Squeeze This!), a sense of discovery and development continues on No Strings. Armed with a battalion of six accordions backed by a guitarist and drummer, Those Darn Accordions! wiggle their way through a collection of 12 original and very witty songs, along with two inspired cover tunes. One hasn't really lived until hearing the dynamic accordion-driven version of The Who's "Baba O'Riley" (bonus points for choosing this one over the obvious Who number, that salacious ode to accordion playing, "Squeeze Box") and octogenarian Clyde Forsman's yearning and world-wise take on Rod Stewart's "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?" Highlights from their own repertoire include "Mothra," "Them Hippies Was Right," and "Deathbed Confession." In addition to their extensive musical chops, Those Darn Accordions! also have a powerful visual impact as well, featuring a trio of slinky sirens among their number (Big Lou, Suzanne, and the airborne Patty). This is one recording filled with good-natured humor where the novelty doesn't wear off, because there's a wealth of musical integrity behind it. Those Darn Accordions! are blazing a trail down a path that most fear to tread, and they're doing it with panache and aplomb. No Strings Attached is a perfect introduction to this unique band with an even-more unique sound, and you'll never hear an accordion quite the same way again." -- David D. Duncan
Factsheet Five 19-May-97
"Every year San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf hosts an accordian festival, but those who can't can't wait can just check out the band Those Darn Accordians. The band features a guitarist, a drummer, and six people who sing and play the according. They a bizarre mix of music which blends polka, swing, pop, and good ol' rock'n'roll. On this, their second album, they play 12 original and very funny songs with a couple of cover toons thrown in for good measure. The pick hit has got to be the Who's "Baba O'Riley," but Rod Stewart's "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?" comes in a close second. I also liked "Deathbed Confession" where the hoaxter photographer confessed to faking the famed Loch Ness Monster photo. Not just for "Weird" Al Yankovic fans, but for anyone who enjoys a fun, lively album."
Ink Nineteen New Media Magazine
"The accordion has always had an image of social incompetence, and many a gag has been made about the torture of parentally enforced accordion lessons. However, anyone who's ever picked up an accordion will testify the instrument's challenge not only are those things heavy, but you gotta squeeze them in and out while performing complex maneuvers with all ten fingers. Anyone who is any good on accordion gets my instant respect.With six accordion players, a bassist and a drummer, Those Darn Accordions could probably just get by on concept and visuals alone. Failing that, they could toss in a couple of goofy covers ("Baba O'Riley" and "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy") and still sell albums on novelty alone. However, the bad has talent of its own, arranging some musically interesting pieces, and coming up with a raft of witty lyrics "Them Hippies Was Right" and "Following the Puppets," the latter being a most eloquent credo of the TDA Way. Very cool and listenable." - Anton Warner
The Island Ear
"It looks like "Weird" Al Yankovic may have some company under the category of wacky accordion music. Those Darn Accordions are the polka rock funmeisters with their accordion driven mishagas. They bounce around between traditional polkas ("Ramune"), rock classic covers ("Baba O' Riley" you've never heard it like this!) and a strange mix of rock/new wave/accordion music. You haven't lived until you've heard "The Hotsy Totsy Polka." A refreshingly enjoyable diversion. A (If you don't take your music too seriously.)" -Arie Nadboy
The Glass Eye, February 1997 (Ohio)
"Paul Rogers, Those Darn Accordions' musical director and chief songwriter feels, "the accordion had been making its way back to the mainstream along several different roads Cajun, Tejano, rock but there it is being used to add texture to already existing idioms. TDA is pushing the boundaries a little further by listing the guitars and horns and other keyboards and finding those textures all on the same instrument." With six accordion players, plus drums and bass guitar, I think TDA are accomplishing this feat. I was really fired up to review this one, being an accordion fan, but I came away a little disappointed. Simply put, the band possesses a sense of humor that gets in the way of some of their music. They sing songs about sci-fi movies ("Mothra"), The Loch Ness Monster, death bed confessions, 60's visionaries ("Them Hippies Was Right") and the freaks ("Hamsterman".) The bad thing: a lot of their humor isn't that funny, and it takes away from their music. I don't mind a little good humor, but this is the sophomoric kind that's run into the ground quickly. They do a great job on the two covers on this CD, "Baba O' Riley" by the Who and Rod Stewart's "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?" but they sing so damn much they might as well be called Those Darn Voices! Fortunately not all of the album is soaked with humor and Roger's ideas sometimes surface." - Ed Shimborske, Jr.
Stereo Review, February 1997
"America's finest (only?) eight-piece postmodern accordion group returns with another set of satirical originals and less-than-respectful covers. You haven't lived until you've heard accordions doing the synth parts in "Baba O' Riley". Inspirational verse, from an ode to the twin aliens in "Mothra": "I've got to find those singing pixies / Even if they're in their sixties." - By S.S.

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