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The Delegates - The Diary of Hamilton Fish (Cover Artwork)

The Delegates

The Delegates: The Diary of Hamilton FishThe Diary of Hamilton Fish (2005)
Bankshot! Records

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: AlmostPunkEnoughAlmostPunkEnough
(others by this writer | submit your own)

I have no idea how to start this review other than saying that this is easily the best ska-related album I've heard since Big D's How It Goes, it's also one of the most fun records I've had the pleasure of listening to this year. The Diary of Hamilton Fish is the second full-length by Montreal's .
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I have no idea how to start this review other than saying that this is easily the best ska-related album I've heard since Big D's How It Goes, it's also one of the most fun records I've had the pleasure of listening to this year.

The Diary of Hamilton Fish is the second full-length by Montreal's the Delegates, and their first effort for Bankshot! Records. I've only heard a track or two from their first disc, but if it's anything like this, i'm picking it up as soon as i get a chance.

If I had to describe the band's sound (something i'm not very good at), I would say it falls somewhere between Op Ivy, the Suicide Machines' earlier material and a somewhat less poppy/happy Less Than Jake. Throw in some reggae, some late `70s punk influence (it's kinda Clash-y here and there), maybe a dash of the RX Bandits recent strangeness, and some unique quirks and you have the Delegates. As far as musicianship is concerned, the band is pretty goddamn tight. Not that this stuff is incredibly intricate or anything, but they play it as well as anyone could ask. The horns are really what make this album; they don't play an overpowering role, nor are they usually high in the mix, but they're very important and add something extra to most of they songs; the album might be a bit flat without them. I love the vocals here as well, they go from a drawl to shouting with no problem and definitely have a somewhat snotty attitude that fits the music perfectly. Also, the backing vocals are always complimentary and put just where they're needed.

Songs range from fast punk anthems to slower reggae jams, and they work either way. Normally I'd like one style better than another, but these are all really good in their own way, and I find many of the tracks stuck in my head for hours after listening to them. Lyrically, this album is kind of all over the place, which is not at all a bad thing. Song topics range from non-conformity ("Pink Shoes in a Petri Dish") to girls ("Let Her Run," "Bon Voyage"... don't worry, they're not whiny songs), to personal issues ("Hello," Dark Sound"). The quasi-title track is actually about a fish named, obviously, Hamilton Fish. I'm sure it's some sort of metaphor; I don't really care, it's awesome regardless. There's even a cover song, and of all the random shit to possibly pick from, they choose a Roots song. It's actually really good, like all their original material.

There's something about the album art that I love, but I can't quite put my finger on it. That's kinda how I feel about this whole CD; it's great, but I'm just not sure why. Yea, it's got a pretty original sound, it's tight and it's very solidly written. More than anything though, it's just fun as hell. More fun than a weekend in Amsterdam with your ex-girlfriend's debit card and a bottle of Valtrex. More fun than making idiotic jokes at the end of poorly written reviews. I have an absolute blast when I listen to this, and if you don't mind horns, you will too; there's not one bad song on here (though track 8 is more or less an intro to track 9). It's not quite perfect, but damn it's close.

Personal Favorite Songs:

  • "Pink Shoes in a Petri Dish"
  • "In With the Nothing"
  • "I Like It"
  • "You Got Me"
You can hear the first four songs from the album on the band's MySpace page.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
The Lawrence Arms - The Greatest Story Ever ToldBad Religion - SufferAt The Drive-In - Relationship Of CommandAlkaline Trio - Alkaline TrioThe Horrible Crowes - ElsieThe Gaslight Anthem - HandwrittenNOFX - The DeclineFrank Turner - Love, Ire and SongThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!NOFX - Punk In Drublic

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (May 13, 2006)

this is a killer album i just picked it up...they also have a link on mypace.com to download it for free

Anonymous (January 21, 2006)

best fucking cd i've ever heard in my life.

Anonymous (January 20, 2006)

The Delegates are my alltime favorite band, the diary of hamilton fish is an awesome song!

Anonymous (December 24, 2005)

Do you know where we can buy this new cd that kick ass!?

Anonymous (December 8, 2005)

This band is rad live. The new album is awesome.

Anonymous (December 5, 2005)

I bought this CD from the band.. at Providence Place Mall!! It is my new favorite Band Ever!!!! I Love it!!! Much Love CutiefromVT

Anonymous (December 5, 2005)

punk is so played

Anonymous (December 5, 2005)

Ska is so played

AlmostPunkEnough (December 4, 2005)

to the person below; for what it's worth it's nothing at all like Big D, so just cause my taste isn't up to par doesn't mean it's bad.

Anonymous (December 4, 2005)

" the best ska-related album I've heard since Big D's How It Goes, "

Great, now I won't be able to like it.

davebrave4 (December 3, 2005)

good review

Anonymous (December 3, 2005)

c'est un excellent CD !!

AlmostPunkEnough (December 2, 2005)

is anyone going to the ABC No Rio show tomorrow? or the Brooklyn show? i've never been to the Trash Bar so i'm probably gonna go tomorrow.

Anonymous (December 2, 2005)

Yeah, these guys played an amazing house show in Atlanta. Best ska/punk band I've heard in quite a while.

Anonymous (December 2, 2005)

This record is fucking great. Reminds me of old less than jake or bosstones.

Anonymous (December 2, 2005)

awesome guys. great live show.

Anonymous (December 2, 2005)

This score is cause this band plays DIY venues and house shows instead of huge stadium tours.

Anonymous (December 2, 2005)

These guys are awesome. They're playing NYC this weekend.

notfeelingcreative (December 2, 2005)

I just saw these guys last weekend, fun band.

skankin_in_the_pit (December 2, 2005)

I love nearly everything Bankshot! releases, and this is no different.

Anonymous (December 2, 2005)

i saw these dudes with Fox Trotsky in atlanta and picked up their CD. they are freakin AWESOME

lookmommyididit (December 2, 2005)

pink shoes in a petri dish is a great song, their playing here i ny tomorrow but i have no one to go with

AlmostPunkEnough (December 2, 2005)

hey, holy crap, it got posted. good times.

anyway, i wrote this about two months ago but i still like this album just as much now.

Godfather (December 2, 2005)

More fun than a weekend in Amsterdam with your ex-girlfriend's debit card and a bottle of Valtrex. More fun than making idiotic jokes at the end of poorly written reviews.

hahahahaahaha.......thats awesome

Godfather (December 2, 2005)

those four songs are solid, but i can only take so much ska

FuckYouOiOiOi (December 2, 2005)

And you thought they wouldn't put it up.... I don't why you think it was so poorly written, i thought it was a damn fine review.

jamalxbearings (December 2, 2005)

I saw these guys last weekend, amazing show, amazing album, and an amazing band.

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