Album: The Blessing, All Is Yes (Cake)

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The Independent Culture

At last, a noisy, thrashy post-jazz combo that sounds like a proper band rather than a po-mo "project". It's the Portishead rhythm section's rockier elements – Jim Barr's thrumming bass guitar and Clive Deemer's four-square drumming – that give The Blessing the legs as a jazz-for-standing-up act, while Pete Judge on trumpet and Jake McMurchie on tenor sax communicate a more sensitive, sitting-down side. They're at their best when both worlds collide, as on "Another Brother's Mother", when the Joy Division bass gives way to a beautiful Albert Ayler-ish motif and screaming McMurchie solo.

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