Jazz - delicious hot, disgusting cold, as the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band once accurately summarised. And thankfully, young punk-jazz quartet Acoustic Ladyland take pains to ensure things are kept steaming on this follow-up to last year's acclaimed Last Chance Disco debut, even in its occasional passages of quiet reflection. The opening "Road Of Bones" draws one gently into their world, with its wistful thematic statements on piano and then sax punctuated with startling passages where the theme becomes more of a heavy riff; from there the album takes a leap into bouts of staccato jazz riffing ("New Me"), demonic collusions of piercing electronics and squalling sax ("Paris"), and sharp bursts reflecting the other tributaries feeding into their sound: blues ("Your Shame"), spartan Wire-style punk ("Skinny Grin"), and a haunting Iberian flavour ("That Night"). Punk-jazz pioneer James Chance adds a second sax to the berserk "Salt Water", his abrupt manner combining well with Peter Wareham's fiery tone; but the poor delivery of lyrics, chanted rather than sung, takes the lustre off several tracks.
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