OWTK Kindie Album Reviews

Earthworm Ensemble – self titled CD Review

Earthworm Ensemble

The Sound: Whole grain family music from a Polyphonic Spree-esque L.A. collective.

In the Cafeteria, They Sit With: Dreyer Family Band, The Harmonica Pocket

Best Moments: “The Traveling Train”, the self-titled album’s lead track, oozes with the spirit of the wild west.  You can almost see the wild buffalo roaming under the hot sun while fields of wheat wave hello in the wind, and smell the fresh fruits and vegetables the train is transporting over great distances.   “Bear and Dog” is a tad hokey – imagine superheroic animals descending to Earth with a plan for saving our planet – but the hypnotic cadence in the repetition of “We are Bear and Dog” proves to be fairly soothing, meditative even.  It also lends itself to be altered into “We are Bear and Mouse”, an instant theme song for my own dynamic duo.

Earthworm Ensemble hail from Los Angeles, but channel another L.A. on “Little Willie Buffalo”, a piano/horn heavy number I’d half-expect to hear pouring out of a New Orleans parlor window.  As a rule, a novelty hip-hop detour spells serious trouble for any band, let alone a crunchy one such as Earthworm Ensemble, but “Pizza Moon” with it’s narrative of a father and son fending for themselves in the kitchen, is surprising cool in a Secret Agent 23 Skidoo sorta way.

Finally, songwriter Mike Stinson chips in with “Corn”, a love song to the best tasting veggie at the farmer’s market.  I’m kinda famous ’round these parts for my own song about corn, but Stinson’s honky tonk number takes the cake, and the cob.

Bonus Thoughts: Listen to much of the album, including “The Traveling Train”, “Corn” and “Pizza Moon”, on the Earthworm Ensemble MySpace page.

Okay, Time to Wrap it Up with a Nice Little Bow: The self-titled debut from Earthworm Ensemble is cornucopia of musical goodness, rooted in rootsy rhythms and old timey-Americana folk.  It’s a wonderful example of true family music, recommended for anyone who digs a little fiddle and mandolin play with their melodic kiddie rock.

Buy the Earthworm Ensemble CD from The Pokey Pup.

*Earthworm Ensemble’s s/t CD was provided to OWTK for review. The opinions expressed above are unbiased and true – no arm twisting took place in the review process.

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