Thursday, April 17, 2003
*SLAUGHTER AND THE DOGS
*A Dog Day Afternoon
Who''d have ever thought that punk rock gigs would become the blues-revival circuit of this era? If every washed-up groaner from Chicago or the Delta was hailed as saviour back in the ''70s and hauled out to flog "Got My Mojo Working" in front of soused collegiates, then surely the same dynamic applies to any Brit or American yowlers circa 1977-82. Instead of harmonicas and guitar solos, they''re re-hashing their own version of the stripped down, three chord urban, Sex-Pistolized blues.
That would include Slaughter and the Dogs, who ask, "where have all the bootboys gone?" in one of their tunes on A Dog Day Afternoon--the obvious answer being, ''''grown up and in day-job/familyville.'''' However, not all middle agers have the luxury of having once been in a punk band with a recognizable name, so, these grebos decided to take a group holiday and finally tour the States, 25 years after the fact. The recorded document of those dates is this disc.
It''s great--this is straight-up rock and roll served very English-y, slabs of deracinated power-chords and hearty pubbish bellow everywhere. The New York Dolls cover is a hammer-headed blast, the Velvet''s/Hunter-Ronson "White Light/White Heat" a riot and "The Bitch" cops its melody and chords from none other than "Jumping Jack Flash."
While I wouldn''t really welcome a re-appearence of, say, the Lurkers, Cortinas or Eater, I wouldn''t just toss ''em in the bin now, either. Maybe rock doesn''t ever die after all?
*--_Johnny Angel_ *
*Animal Chin EP
Gold Standard Laboratories
The mammoth 10-piece collective stemming from Norway''s progressive electronic scene--the Scandinavian avant-lounge odyssey, Jaga Jazzist--is a delightful, delirious rush of brass, woodwinds, vibes, keyboards, disco strings and guitar, that are all kept in some semblance of order by the springy rhythmic propulsion, virtuoso percussion and restless electronics.
Drawing players from a wide spectrum of Norwegian musical backgrounds that are as diverse as they are unique, Jagga Jazzist has developed a solid reputation during its seven years of existence frequenting festivals in Norway and winning the famed Norwegian Oslo Prize in 1998 as the "Best Live Band." Members of the group have performed and collaborated with such acts as Bobby Hughes Experience, Cato, Ricochets, Euroboys, Big Bang, and Salsa Experience.
With Animal Chin, Jaga Jazzist succeeds where so many others in contemporary jazz fail--having achieved a unified balance between raw, purist instrumental jazz and electronica. True zeniths, their fusion of forward-thinking jazz and eclectic electronics gives them a unique sound that is completely their own. Often being described as a blend of Squarepusher, Tortiose, and Miles Davis, the band is Aphex Twin in a jazz club, twisting our preconceptions and messing with our ears.
"Animal Chin" starts off the record, bringing you into their shape-shifting jazz lounge slowly shifting into a Richard D. Jamesesque synth-fest. "Low Battery" establishes a laid-back atmosphere over a steady bass rhythm, while the build up of the 16-minute remix of "Going Down" gives into an oozing climax of digital proportions.
Jagga Jazzist delivers a feast of infectious beats and exciting arrangements that are bound to transform modern day jazz. With an irrepressible debut, this "post-jazz" collective is hell-bent on reclaiming concepts like "fusion" and "big band" for the 21st century.