My God… just how long have I had The Captain’s Table by Ham1 (MySpace) in my promo pile!? (That question warrants the exclamation point due to the excessive time it has spent there.) Let’s see, the album hit in November of 2007. You’ll likely need to subtract a few months due to the standard promo time. And yeah, that means I’ve had it for damn close to a year. And there’s simply no excuse—the album is quite decent.
I didn’t like the contrast of the blue on the TV screen and the orange of the wall; the album cover wasn’t aesthetically pleasing to my ocular sense, and that unfortunately led to the album finding a more and more comfortable home on my ever-growing rack of promo albums in need of a listen.
But the audible sense is the opposite—it’s quite pleasing. Songs like “Hare Lipped Bust” and “Moonie” have elements of power pop and rock. Then they toss in western-y guitar riffs and give select tracks a surf-rock feel, like in the mostly instrumental “Saluki”. But much of the album finds Ham1 playing space-y ballads.
In the harder, more rockin’ tunes, the vocals tend to have a sizable rasp, which carries through lightly to the ballads that make up the middle of the album. I’ve included “Hare Lipped Bust” below. It’s one of Ham1’s rock-based tracks, and my favorite on last year’s The Captain’s Table, available on Orange Twin Records (a label that enjoys a few beloved Elephant 6 leftovers).