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Day 308: The Jazz Butcher – Cult of the Basement

2 Jan

She’s on Drugs

With a band name like “The Jazz Butcher,” you have to expect some interesting music.  Going into this Chops-suggested album, I was counting on some kind of ridiculous intellectual jazz-core hybrid odyssey on which I would have to focus really hard only to end up with a kind-of understanding.  Fortunately for me, I was dead wrong.

This 1990 release (that was 22 years ago—are you feeling old yet?) does have some elements of jazz, but they are indeed butchered almost beyond recognition.  The occasional brass instrument finds a home in Cult of the Basement, along with their complicated (and seemingly random) sounds, but this really is a rock album at heart.

“The Basement,” this record’s opener, scared me a bit.  Composed using samples of what I think may be really old TV shows, including some foreign-language versions of The People’s Court, along with an accordion and a guitar-riff that wouldn’t be out of place in a ’60s spy film, led me to believe that this album was going to go way over my head.  Then, “She’s On Drugs” rolled around.  The opening lines “Good grief, fortune, look on the dance floor / she’s got to be American / she’s not from here” calmed me down pretty quickly.  Over a quick 3/4 beat and some catchy, trebly guitars, I didn’t feel stupid in comparison to what I was hearing, which is always nice.

The rest of the record is made primarily of tracks similar to the awesome “Drugs.”  Overall, it’s a lot catchier than I expected going in, with some really clever lyrics to boot.  I look forward to giving this album a few more listens, and really getting to dissect those words.