Anarchist activist Emma Goldman allegedly said, "If I can't dance I don't want to be a part of your revolution." Phoenix-based punkgrass band The Haymarket Squares seems to subscribe to the same tenet. The band's new album is a diverse collection of jigs best suited for a raucous pub. Some songs are more high-lonesome, others gleefully hyperactive, but the fact that the band uses kazoos and barbershop quartet breakdowns takes it to a whole new level of liveliness.
In truth, it's the lyrics that really give the album vim. The politics here are clear: religious wars, industrial farms, authority figures and anti-marijuana nazis all get the band's goat. Instead of whining, The Haymarket Squares delivers hilariously wicked lines to poke fun at all the stiffs. "The Rapture" actually sounds like an organ-infused hymnal, but it's really a joyful song about the day when the rapture takes all the self-righteous Christians away. "Gateway Drug" makes fun of people who preach about the "evil sprouting up across the land." Monster truck owners and inefficient city planners also take a hit. It's a smart and well-crafted album, plus totally satisfying in the way making fun of uptight people and silly rules often is.
The Haymarket Squares plays the Palace Saturday, Aug. 14, at 9 PM, with Candyland Liberation Front. $5.