on LITTLE BIG CHIEF RECORDS
"Avant Blues; Ugh lawd, eye sey Ave-Aunt Bleu-oooozzzee! Typically, my first reaction when the termâ€™s being tossed â€˜round is not to look forward but down, as I certainly donâ€™t want to trip over untied shoe laces whilst hoofing it outta whatever unsavory establishment Iâ€™ve found myself in. Nothing personal against anyone in particular, but the cases I have heard often lack one, at times even both signifiers, and just â€˜cos you canâ€™t be bothered to tune your guitar OR put socks on donâ€™t make your brand of mudslinginâ€™ no â€œAvant Blues,â€ OK? That said, me â€˜n Ragtime Frank, we get on pretty good. â€œWhatâ€™s so different â€˜bout him?â€ One might ask. Well for starters, he uses his voice like Derek Bailey uses his guitar, his guitar like Joan La Barbara uses her voice, pairs up w/ a drummer who handles his kit like the bloke from the Monks, had he just nearly drowned in a pool of bourbon but was fished out w/ a copy of Detailed Twang as life raft (thatâ€™d be Leighton Craig, notably of Primitive Motion, The Deadnotes and Lost Domain, long running Aus. outfit in which guitarist/vocalist Simon Ellaby also did time), and in tandem they belt â€˜em out with all the restraint of The New Creation (Rocket Ship for My Lord, indeed). Truly a recipe for success if Iâ€™ve ever heard one! No Corwood Rep. in sight (must be off jamming in his â€œfestival shirtâ€ with Mike Watt) and for once Iâ€™m not complaining. If youâ€™ve heard Frankâ€™s previous, far-too-limited efforts, both duo â€œstudioâ€ session and one man band live on Negative Guest List, then you know his is a brand of Anti-Art much akin to â€œYou Are My Everlovinâ€ dubbed over a 9th generation mix tape of the Tampax/Hitler SS split. And if youâ€™re not one of the lucky 100 or so who have, then hereâ€™s a great place to hop aboard! Rest assured, Simon â€˜n Leighton â€˜aint tamed their attack in the least, just further honed it into a laser beam of moonshine-imbued vitriol. I donâ€™t know or care whether most of this record is improvised or not, but a discernable structure, haggard as it may be, does sound apparent, and this sets it apart from others exercises in self-indulgence within your stock faux Gospel camp. Maybe the players involved have just been going at it so long in various configurations that theyâ€™ve developed a natural rapport, but all I know is stabs like â€œMarried Womanâ€ and â€œSince I Laid My Burden Downâ€ drip of the same opaque bacillus that first infected the underground via Contact High Withâ€¦ â€˜nâ€™s been the lifeâ€™s blood of damn near every ramshackle DIY outfit worth a toss since. â€˜N when Frank really lets it fly loose, say on the indecipherable â€œWrapped Up, Tangled Up,â€ why itâ€™s as if the ghost of Jerry Rayson were in the room, yellinâ€™ at the hippie junkies on his corner to take a bath. Show me another record released this year of which the same rings true and a bucket of fried chicken and malted beverage of your choice â€™s on the house. In the Windy City they may have the â€œHot Buttered Blues,â€ but down under we got R.T.F., and he sure â€˜innit nothinâ€™ like a slouch neither. -Thomas DeAngelo/April 2014
This product was added to our catalog on Monday 21 July, 2014.