Artist: Seanster and the Monsters
Age Range: 4 through 8
Description: I'm a little late to this 2014 release from the Winnipeg-area band, but it's a nifty little collection of songs that run the gamut from amusing to absurd. I realize that gamuts are usually a little wider than that, but Sean Hogan and his band know his strengths and play to them.
Musically, the band covers more ground, from the silly march of the leadoff track "Yay Dolphins!" (which eventually sings about kittens in the cockpit) to '60s-era spy music ("Double-O Wombat") to the polka of album closer "More Monkeys." (Genial guitar-based folk-rock with a hint of banjo is generally their home base.) I thought the movement-based songs "Pat Your Head" and especially "They Can't" ("Snap / Like the turtles can't snap")were more clever and engaging than most movement-based songs I've heard, approaching They Might Be Giants' "Clap Your Hands" in terms of that cleverness. While there's definitely a TMBG/Barenaked Ladies vibe to their songs, some of their more narrative songs will remind listeners of the odd narratives of Duke Otherwise, Zak Morgan, and Steve Weeks (whom Hogan bears more than passing resemblance to, vocally).
Technically speaking, the 37-minute album is a debut album, but Hogan has been performing kids music for more than a decade. Now that they've got this first album as a band under their belt, I'm eager to see them stretch their wings, somewhat musically, definitely lyrically. But this is solid stuff for the joking kid in your life. Recommended.
Note: I was provided a copy of the album for possible review.