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A Scandal In Bohemia

The Jazz Butcher

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Album Review

Recording with a stable backup band, the Jazz Butcher here puts together a top-shelf diamond of a record that is filled with excellent, memorable songs. Diverse styles are deftly referenced here and the lyrics are focused, wry, and often killer clever. The sound quality is a big improvement over that of his prior release, In Bath of Bacon. The drivingly tuneful "Southern Mark Smith" and "Girlfriend" are in a ringing folk-pop style. "I Need Meat" is a jumpy, neo-rockabilly number. "Marnie" deftly mixes funk and ethnic influences. "My Desert" is essentially a sea chantey or campfire singalong with ironically downbeat lyrics. "Caroline Wheeler's Birthday Present" is a fuzzed-out hard rock parody with irreverently Dylan-esque "I Shall Be Free" style lyrics. "Just like Betty Page" is an uptempo, acoustic guitar based, top-tapping delight. And the wonderfully inventive "Real Men" utilizes a bizarre accompaniment of thudding drums, rumbling bass, and sparkling glockenspiel surrounding hilarious lyrics that attack macho attitudes. Don't pass up this album if you can find it.

Biography

Formed: 1982 in Oxford, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s

The Jazz Butcher was the vehicle of prolific singer/songwriter Pat Fish, an archetypal British eccentric whose sharp observational wit and melodic gifts navigated the group through over a decade of constant lineup shifts, stylistic mutations and even a series of name changes which found the band performing variously — and apparently randomly — under such titles as the Jazz Butcher Conspiracy and the Jazz Butcher & His Sikkorskis from Hell. Fish was born Patrick Huntrods in London...
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A Scandal In Bohemia, The Jazz Butcher
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