2001: Yellow Tail Records YT-10017
This one came out of nowhere, it seemed, and just continued the Uncle Bonsai legend as if there had been no hiatus, as if there were actually an Uncle Bonsai still actively performing. Its baffling to think that Uncle Bonsai have released more albums of new stuff SINCE their breakup than they did before . Anyway, this was such a treat just to hear in the first place that I didnt immediately delight in the material that was presented, which is GREAT! I still laugh at least as hard with these songs as I have done with all the previous UB albums. When I listen to the Iowa Apology Song I feel I should notify a physician that this time I might actually rupture that lung laughing so hard. The songs may be written by Andrew Ratshin, but its the combination that seals the package so perfectly.
One of the sharpest aspects of Uncle Bonsai songs, whether heard first in live performance or on a recording, is that it can take a verse or two before youve got your bearings and know whether whats coming at you is a savage social commentary, a bittersweet portrait, or a hilarious exercise in absurdity. Wheres the Milk is a brilliant example, one that had me cautiously following the song without definite bearings until the immediate approach of the first chorus but left absolutely no question in my mind after that except the oh my GOD will I stop laughing EVER after this one of course. Do You Call That a Hat has a similar introductory period of uncertainty but yields a far simpler and sillier piecenot that its lesser by comparison, or lesser at all, but Wheres the Milk taps darker waters.
But I Owe You an Apology is the ultimate Uncle Bonsai looking-back song, and it may fly over the heads of non-Bonsai fans (but who cares about them with something this good available?!): the unapologetic nods to Uncle Bonsai songs stories and characters fly fast and not furious but graceful, and the delicious electricity of having the three original members singing all of this is absolutely thrilling.
Comments © 2005 Mark Ellis Walker, except as noted, and no claim is made to the images and quoted lyrics.