Life Just Bounces don't you get worried at all. (A weblog of music and otrogenerica)

Saturday, 25 July 2009

#8: Led Bib — "Sensible Shoes" (Cuneiform, 2009)

Remember that bit in Milos Forman's Amadeus where the Emperor dismisses the burgeoning genius Mozart's radical new composition with the words "... too many notes" (aka the best piece of music criticism of all time)? Well Led Bib's Sensible Shoes has fucking thousands of notes, and they're all completely necessary. Sometimes there's so many notes that the London quintet have to play different ones on four instruments at the same time with the speed of a broken fairground waltzer, just to get through them all before the song ends. Truly, this album has notes coming out of its ears.

The result is that Sensible Shoes is great, obviously. It's a hundred miles too good to win the Barclaycard Mercury Prize,1 but for once in the Mercuries' existence, at least, we have something to thank them for, that being the spread of Led Bib's exuberant skronking glory to a wider range of ears (they were the only nominee not to have a Wikipedia article when the twelve were announced).

There are obviously going to be Zorn/Naked City parallels drawn with their "jazz with a punk aesthetic", but Pete Grogan and Chris Williams' two-pronged alto sax blitzkrieg also alternates satisfyingly with melodic vamps that skilfully display the group's Ornette Coleman influence. Toby McLaren adapts the Fender Rhodes equally well to dusky melodic passages and the frenetic, everyone-in soloing of "Squirrel Carnage"; and as you'd perhaps expect from a group with a drummer as bandleader, the rhythm section is also commendable, going balls-out on "Call Centre Labyrinth", building and just as suddenly dropping clouds of Bitches Brew-esque static/dissonance on "Water Shortage". By nine-minute closer "Zone 4", it's clear that, while a token indie act will scoop the Mercury, it's five thrash-jazz outsiders that have made the most interesting album nominated in '09.

mp3: Led Bib — "Sweet Chilli" (YSI)

1 i can understand changing the name when they get a new sponsor, but why have they seen fit to drop the word "Music"? Should we be reading something into this?

1 comment:

Jim said...

more tepid english jazz yawn ;)