Friday, May 5, 2023

The Karl Hendricks Trio - Declare Your Weapons LP


Merge (1998)

Here it is, the last Karl Hendricks full length that I needed to pick up on vinyl.  Sadly, 2003's The Jerks Win Again and 2007's The World Says only came out on CD, so until someone decides to press them, I'm all caught up on Karl Hendricks vinyl aside from a split 7" that I've been lazy about picking up.  And it feels good to have all of these records finally.  While I have had the CDs for ages, there's just something different about being able to listen to them on a turntable.

If there's one thing that you can say about Karl and company is that they are nothing if not incredibly consistent.  Their records mostly sound the same from album to album, and in this case I mean that as a huge compliment.  They were never a group that worked well within a 'recommended if you like' culture.  They always just made the sort of music they wanted to make and didn't ever really fit in with the popular sounds of any era that they put out an album during.  But while they may not have had the largest fanbase or the flashiest sound, they just cranked out album after album after album of incredible songs.  Declare Your Weapons is no exception.

As with most Karl records, I tend to favor the faster songs like "A Letter To The Coach," "The Policeman's Not Your Friend" and "The Smile That Made You Give Up."  That said, when Mr. Hendricks is feeling melancholy there are few songwriters that can hit you right in the guts the same way he can.  Sound-wsie, there's nothing 'emo' about The Karl Hendricks Trio, but if you're looking that can weave real emotion and pain into their songs, Karl is better at it than most.

Another great record by one of my favorite, if not somewhat overlooked, bands.  People really need to have more Karl Hendricks Trio records in their collection, and while I don't know that I'd recommend Declare Your Weapons as the first one they should pick up, it should definitely end up on their shelf after grabbing a few of the others.

The Karl Hendricks Trio - Declare Your Weapons:

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