This four-member Brighton, England group have an ?everything but the kitchen sink? brand of ramshackle, skewed pop. The album art for ?The Show-boat, Over,? the band?s sixth album, attempts to illustrate numerically the relationship between the players and the 40-plus instruments they make use of. It?s definitely a clever idea, but is extremely complicated due to the enormity and diversity of Hamilton Yarns? instrument collection. That being said, the players are unquestionably adept at creating tiny symphonies that outshine the precocious complexity of the arrangements.
Deadpan delivery from multiple narrators unravels a poetic tale set in both the countryside (the A side of the album) and a town (the B side of the album). The ?country? side of the album is a somewhat stumblebum collection of oddly composed gems, strewn about the road leading to town. The urban flipside is filled with more traditionally structured songs, including the amazing ?All the Low Notes.? That this is the group?s sixth album is somewhat baffling, as it demonstrates how all too often great bands manage to remain under the radar for far too long. ?The Show-boat, Over? makes a strong case that Hamilton Yarns should be celebrated by fans of cleverly arranged, off-kilter folk-pop. 8/10 -- Bryon Hayes (11 September, 2006)