Hamster Theatre

The latest from the Hamsters is everything a fan might expect from one of Colorado's most gloriously twisted exports: a two-disc package divided between unconventional studio offerings and a live set that underscores the band's ambition and eccentricities.

The initial pair of cuts on Execution set the stage for the idiosyncratic joys that follow. First up is "Race Against Time," which doesn't race anywhere; the track's a measured meander built upon Dave Willey's accordion and Jon Stubbs's bass and bells. That's followed by "162," which weaves Eastern European folk, skronk, prog and more into an intriguing aural tapestry. The in-concert collection, culled from a 2002 Seattle gig, is just as eclectic and even more fun. Staples such as "The Cat Song" and "The Hamster Dance" are revved up and played hard for a broad-minded audience with a laudable taste for adventure.

Yeah, the results are weird. And thank goodness.

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