Hear The Track HereLast track out of the Rebelriffs blog this month is an Australian band we've met before. Yep, those sunny, smiley purveyors of 'Industrial Cruise Ship Jazz' (I kid you not) are back for more. Ron and Luke Pollard, Andrew McDonald and Ben Stacy are not an easy band though, as my review of A Vexing Predicament (December 2009) shows only too well. Now I like jazz, and, in some forms, I like experimental too but Tangled Thoughts of Leaving combine that and that's where things tend to get a little sticky. Surprisingly enough I came away from that session actually liking the track and seeing that this was a band with a vision, and you can't say that about most of them. The only problem is, will they be the only ones who ever see it?
I know lots and lots of people who make 'difficult music' and they all - to a man and woman - know that they don't stand a ******* chance out there in cyberspace, let alone in the real world. So why, you may ask, do they persist in making music that often mimics the sound of cats making whoopee under a full moon? Surely they would realise that this kind of music turns off the bulk of humanity and a nice, boppy pop tune and smiles might get them a lot more attention? Well, I'm sure they do know this, and I'm equally sure that they couldn't care less and that is why I like bands like TToL. It helps that they are in fact more jazzy than experimental and feature versatile and adept musicians (the bass, for example is a wonder for the ears). Contextually Inept, like its predecessor is not going to set the world on fire so if jazz makes you shudder, this is probably not for you.
If I hadn't learned about their musical skills on the first track, I probably wouldn't have been as nice as I was to them, and even on this track their musicianship is one of the major draws despite it sounding as if it were recorded in a garage. Which, I suppose, it might well have been. I had to go back and listen to the first track again while I was writing this review because I felt the same reservation as I feel with this. As I say, I like this band and I like the material they come up with but I am really not a big fan of the production it comes wrapped in. OK, it may well have been recorded live right off the bat in which case there isn't a lot you can do about it, and that's that. I suspect, however, that if time were spent on defining and sharpening instrument sounds, and a wider approach to the overall sound ,Tangled Thoughts of Leaving may well find it increases their audience dramatically.
Highly Recommended Jazz workout.