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on 12 July 2009
The keyboards employed on 'Skinny Grin' make way here for Chris Sharkey's guitar. Vocals are given the push too, while Ruth Goller takes over on bass. The unfeasibly afro'ed Sebastian Rochford still occupies the drum stool, and Peter Wareham once more strafes with his saxophone. The end product is rock and roll of the best sort - dirty and belligerent but tuneful. Music college clearly had zero effect on these musicians' partiality to the Stooges.

It's been a very long time since since I last heard three consecutive tracks as uplifting as 'Living with a Tiger', 'Gratitude' and 'Have another Go'. Play these first thing in the morning, especially 'Gratitude' with its take-no-prisoners, blunt, opening riff, and you will feel as if you can take on the world. While all three are great tunes, the first and second have middle freak-out sections that kick against the traces of the main melody. Whether provided by Wareham's saxophone, as on the driving 'Living with a Tiger' or by Sharkey's guitar, as on 'Gratitude', these sections are the right length in relation to the overall tune, and very effective. Perhaps this is improvisation derived from jazz. Or is this what NYC early-80s no-wave sounded like? Don't know and don't care. On 'Have another Go' we get bags of melody and some great wah-wah (or is it flanging?)

If it's atmosphere and echo that you want, go to track 8. The two final tracks bring everything together in majestic fashion. I like the way Acoustic Ladyland structure their tunes. At the point where many bands either bring a tune to a halt or make it too long by repeating a section once too often, Acoustic Ladyland provide a shift.

'Only' four stars because tracks 6 and 7 are a bit too frenzied, but this is still the best rock and roll I've heard in years.
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on 17 July 2009
After the disappointment of "Skinny Grin" Acoustic Ladyland are back with a bang.Out go Tom Cawley(keyboards) and Tom Herbert(bass) and in come Leeds based guitarist Chris Sharkey and electric bassist Ruth Goller for a much needed breath of fresh air.
The transformation over their four albums has been quite drastic when you think that they started out with a crossbreed of acoustic jazz/rock and free improv.What they now aspire to is a pulsating brand off jazz/rock'n'roll fusion thats raw,often frenetic but strongly melodic with one catchy rock riff after another.
Sharkey gives the band a harder edge with some solid guitar work and some nice solos.The show,of course,belongs to Wareham who never seems to tire of finding new ways and sounds to express himself through his tenor saxophone.In a recent Jazzwise magazine interview he admitted to being a frustrated guitarist because of the saxophones lack of harmonic possibilities.He has the perfect foil in Sharkey who can provide that harmonic depth while Wareham screams,honks,and shouts around the melody to give the band a really full on sound.
They have of course retained many of the elements that made them successful but have built on those ideas and have really formed their own musical identity.Being more of a jazz fan myself i still think "Camouflage" contains their best and most creative music compared to what they produce today which is much more simplistic in its conception.Some of the tunes here are a little to frenetic with "Not so" being the prime example which could almost be described as thrash jazz !
That aside their is much to enjoy and certainly won't disappoint their adoring legion of fans.
Buy and enjoy.
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on 13 August 2009
This is a great suprise after the slightly disappoiting Skinny Grin.
It's straight ahead punk rock with a sax instaed of vocals.
On previouse records the hilight for me was always rochfords drumming but this time the new members on guitar & bass stand out wich is really saying something.
The production is raw giving it a hardcore feel but with great musicality.
Other reviewrs have mentioned a couple of tracks being too frenzied but to these ears they are the most exhilarating music heard in a long time.Imagine if hardcore punks Discharge/GBH could really play!.
Great album.
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on 3 March 2011
I really enjoyed this cd, it was totally exhilarating!.

It would be easy to call this jazz-punk or punk-jazz, its more than just that , its great music with a capital G.

If you like the free-jazz end of the jazz spectrum , the skronking of Pete Wareham's Coltrane-esque sax playing will appeal to you , if you like punk , thrash, indie, jazz, avant noise , you're bound to like this

Its a real genre hopper too , the sheer diversity is awesome , ranging from the straight ahead punk , to monumental Led Zeppelin style riffing , and a teeny bit of Zappa-esque workouts propelled by sterling drumming from the excellent Seb Rochford ( Rashied Ali meets any good rock drummer you wish to mention!)

Click that mouse and buy!!!
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on 8 April 2010
Most rocky album to date. There's some pretty wild stuff in here. The electric guitar adds hugely to the harder edged sound. Some great bass playing too by the other new member of the band.

Thankfully there is no singing on this album, so I don't need to keep skipping tracks!

Consider this album as loud and nasty pub-rock with no singing, punk and jazz influences, some brilliant tonal changes and dirty sax.
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on 30 December 2014
Fantastic contemporary Jazz
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on 19 September 2009
Hmmmmm. Not sure about this. The sax turns some really decent instrumental rock into something altogether more annoying. Wasn't aware that Curtis Steigers was an ok reference point for modern musicians?
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