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Fabuley & As Is

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Album Review

Just as conscious of aiming for the heights as before — the opening "Changeling" adds wordless backing vocals to increase the scope of the aggressive number, and succeeds in a haunting fashion — the Holy Rollers here keep things going with Fabuley. The last major release by the original lineup, Fabuley plays with the epic in fine fashion, sounding even more scaled up than ever. Without being an arena act or coming off with the aggrandizing air of one, the Holy Rollers still make big music that can inspire and go beyond simple post-hardcore approaches. The tense, stripped-down funk that popped up here and there on As Is has its place here as well; in lesser hands it would be Red Hot Chili Peppers wank, but here songs like "Skin Deep Guilt" kick along with a better energy. Elsewhere, touches like the fried, remote electric blues start of Jones' drumming, in many ways the heart and soul of the band, holds pride of place throughout, with her able to pull off subtle tempo changes and complexity (not to mention some good breakbeats here and there) with aplomb. The album's one flaw is that while it's just as quick as As Is — barely over half an hour long — toward the end things fall off a bit, being good without being particularly great, aside from the moody, minimal start to the title track. That aside, though, Fabuley makes for a good enough listen (and one has to love the nutty dog-yawning photo on the front). CD versions of Fabuley include the entirety of As Is as a bonus.

Fabuley & As Is, Holy Rollers
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