Maybe the founding members of Squirrel Nut Zippers (Jim Mathus and Katharine Whalen) were predicting the giant sucking-sound that would follow grunge when they decided to toss away their rock bands, move from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, to a small town nearby, and pick up banjos and trumpets in 1993. Whatever it was that motivated the pair--plus the other quartet of guys who became the Zippers--to shun the pervasive crunchy power-pop-punk sound of Chapel Hill, it's worked out well for them; since the 1995 release of the band's debut, The Inevitable, kids all over the country have been pogo-ing to swing music. While The Inevitable isn't charting super-fresh musical territory, the Zippers' vivacious take on the Big Band sound of the 1920s and '30s has the nutty appeal of a vintage dress worn with Doc Martens. --Megan O. Steintrager
I think the music is well-done in general, but I'll tell you, the thing that just does it for me (to the point of giving me chills!) is Katharine Whalen's voice. She is PERFECT for this sort of music. She has that sassy, sweet, dramatic, very distinctive voice that almost no female vocalist these days, that I've heard, has or can even fake. Not even close. Nobody can touch her (for this sound). I'm sure Katharine practiced many, many hours to get that sound and quality out of her voice. It's stunning. Seriously. Sexy, sultry, smooth, sassy and, again, so well-suited for this style of music. Kudos to her. A++++
Unless you're into that kind of thing.
Who am I to judge? You go on with your unique ways.