Monday, April 19, 2010

The Jazz Butcher • Cult of the Basement

Once again, Pat Fish proves he's the penultimate modern pop eclectic. Continuing from where last year's [1989] overlooked by outstanding Big Planet, Scarey Planet left off, Cult of the Basement is the Jazz Butcher's latest go-round and it's one hell of a ride.

Cult opens with the spy-themey "The Basement," a recurring theme at that. Then, with a curt "and you can dance" a la Madonna, Butchy delivers "She's On Drugs," which may or mayn't be about America's bullet-braed diva. Lest we believe the Jazz Butcher's always got something wacky up his sleeve, there's "Girl Go," released earlier this year [1990] as a single (in the UK) and a quintessential take on JB's patented guitar-heavy reverb ballads. "Pineapple Tuesday" is in the same mode, but hardly a copy.

As a guitarist he's great, as a singer, supreme. But first and foremost, Fish is a songwriter second to none. And if the world were a fair place, he and his band would be everywhere in 1990, except the basement.

(Originally appeared in The Rocket, Seattle, September 1990)

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