Bushman's Revenge

Jitterbug

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Rune Grammofon's contributions to the Norwegian jazz scene (and that of the world at large) continues with Bushman's Revenge's third album, finding the trio again exploring their own variety of garagey psych fusion. (Not for nothing does the band cover a kindred spirit from previous years -- no less a noteworthy trio than Mötorhead, with "Damage Case" being given a "happy go lucky karaoke version," as it's rather tongue-in-cheekily described.) Jitterbug is at once a product of its time -- namely a worship of a lot of things going down sonically at the dawn of the '70s -- and something that doesn't quite fit into any easy description of that; they're a power trio and a jazz trio without settling for being specifically one or the other, as the excellent opener "Always in Motion the Future Is" shows. The second song, if anything, provides a hint of a more recent key influence, with its quick, shuddering pace and riffs suggestive of the stern focus of '90s math rock experimentation, something very specifically post-punk that suddenly kicks into a brilliant classic rock epic of sorts, thanks to the keyboards of guest performer Ståle Storløkken. There are downsides all the same -- the bluesy trudge of the third song isn't bad, but isn't distinct otherwise aside from the excellent guitar tone shown by Even Helte Hermansen. But the strongest moments come at the end, with "Personal Poltergeist" feeling like a great penultimate number, a slow, moody anthem of sorts that builds into a massive, dramatic ending by all three performers. It sets the stage well for "Waltz for My Good Man," which concludes the album on an easy, graceful note.

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