Music this funky, this strange, this snarky, and this well rendered is extremely rare. In fact, it goes immediately to my private stash of connoissieur discs meant for ears so wigged out that only they can savor it properly. With a set of irresistably infectious grooves, acid-dripping lyrics and vocals, as well as a concatenation of styles so seamlessly cohered that it makes the brain hurt, Alabama 3 has joined any number of similar efforts while standing distinctively apart. While trying to impart the stratospheric merits of this collection, I'll have to be pardoned if I misinfer many things because it's the devil's own task to pigeonhole these very talented bastards.
Picture a blend of KMFDM, 10cc, Zapp, Kraftwerk, Lou Reed, Talking Heads, Zappa, Rammstein, Particle, Hyperhead, Mojo Nixon, Kaleidoscope, Ministry, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Tenacious D, and a whole raft of peripheral tangs, tunes, and tones, and you'll thus get within spitting distance of a shadow. Now take the metal out, insert an organic bloodflow, apply a socket wrench to the gluteals, subtract any sense of New Wave, douse with a gallon of well-schooled cynicism, and then drown it all in a distillation of speed, hash, xtacy, and acid. Got it? Well, neither do I, but I sure as hell was seatdancing while listening to this wondrous jam band kicking the lights out of the mirror ball, strobes, mist machines, and flashers.
The sharp-as-a-razor humor here is of an venomously literate variety, kinda like Monty Python with a used car salesman's penchant for survival on the mean streets. No surprise it's a UK product, then, as the Brits are the only ones who can pull this off so perfectly, what with their background in the Goon Show, P.G. Wodehouse, Bonzo Dog Band, and, of course, the incomparable Pythoners themselves. Alabama 3 never falls out of the pocket musically, boasts nine members, perplexes the crap out of you just in seeing them lounging about in Stetsons, shades, and blazers, then puts the urban voodoo in rap sections slinking up from the gutter. By the time you think you've got it figured, your pants are down, something just dropped on your head, and your rear's painted blue.
Trust me, Hezekiah, everything I've said still won't get you there 'cause this is one brilliant piece of work which has to be heard to be, um, misunderstood. And, Jesus, is it long! A compendium of cuts from various previous releases plus some unreleased materials, ya get yer money's worth, and, by the time it's done, you'll be exhausted.
Except as noted, songs written variously by Alabama 3; Love, Love, Love; Sir Real, The Very Rev. Wayne D. Love; Empiricist; and probably Beelzebub himself, but I'm damned if I'm going to wade through the credits to attribute properly!
Edited by: David N. Pyles
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