It’s hard to resist a duo whose first single and video features a leaf blower. Yes, “Blow” is destined to be the go-to track for lawn workers this upcoming season. Yet while the leaf blower is the highlight, this brilliant track doesn’t rely on novelty to carry the tune; that part is left to the guitars, violin and acoustic breakdown.
Pigeon Laundry (violinist Shenzo Gregorio of FourPlay / Shenzo’s Electric Stunt Orchestra and guitarist Julian Curwin of The Tango Saloon / Darth Vegas) are certainly having a lot of fun here, bringing everything including the literal kitchen sink. One can watch the percussive joy of light bashing on sink and bowls in “Ladybugs”, then repeat the experiment at home. (The last such track we can recall is Pawn’s “Oven, Sink”.) The duo’s decidedly low-budget videos only add to the charm, as they use everything from looped slow-motion chickens (the first minute of “Party Animals”) to bizarre public performance and home videos (“Doink”). During the process, one gains an amusing image of life in Australia, from dried flora to lively fauna.
Improvisation can be a mixed bag, and not everything works equally well. “Mexico”, for example, is a solid track, but lacks the distinctive nature of the prior pieces. Ironically, “Cup of Tea” sounds a little more like a trip south of the border, perhaps to a semi-deserted beach. Still, the variety of tracks lends the album a looseness fit for the season, from beach to campfire to kitchen to farm. And whenever the cavaquinho (Brazilian ukelele) enters the frame, the album takes on a sweet summer vibe. A siesta in Mexico is the same as a sesta in Brazil or a kip in Australia. It’s hot just about everywhere this August, and these pieces provide sweet relief. (Richard Allen)