Ha Ha Tonka and Bloodshot Records have teamed up again to release Ha Ha Tonka’s third album, Death Of A Decade. With Death Of A Decade, Ha Ha Tonka entered a 200 year old barn in New Paltz, NY with producer Kevin McMahon (Titus Andronicus, The Felice Brothers, The Walkmen) and emerged with something equally timeless.
Death Of A Decade doesn’t stray too far from the band’s patented sound established on Buckle in the Bible Belt and Novel Sounds Of The Nouveau South. The signature pounding drums, stomping feet and plucky mandolin all serve as a backdrop to this band’s biggest gift, their voices and harmonies.
This is easily the best album this Ozarkian (is that even a word?) quartet has released to date, as well as one of the best albums so far this year. Judging from their placement at Bloodshot Records’ SxSW showcase, the label knows what they have in these guys and are trying to push them.
While doing a little research before writing this, I saw where the album had received a lukewarm review on a typically “indie” music blog, and while glancing through the comments I saw one that said, “Fuck You. This is a 5 star album! Period.” I can’t find too much fault with that comment as the album is certainly finding a home on the 9B Essential Listening list.
On a side note: If you ever get a chance to see these guys live, do it! The sheer joy that comes from the stage when they’re playing is almost intoxicating.