The Jazz Butcher

Cult of the Basement

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After releasing a wealth of quality material in the '80s, the Jazz Butcher kicked off the next decade with this strong batch of originals. Featuring more of bandleader Pat Fish's lean, jazz and cabaret-style pop gems, Cult of the Basement would be the last full-band effort before Fish basically went solo as the lone Jazz Butcher during the first half of the '90s. Contributing this time out, though, are Butcher alum like saxophonist Alex Green, guitarist Kizzy O'Callaghan, drummer Paul Mulreany, and bassist Lawrence O'Keefe (O'Keefe and Fish made up the core duo on 1988's excellent Fishcoteque). Fish delivers his usual mixed bag of styles here, coming up with the cuts that range from the country-tinged "My Zeppelin" and surf-noir opener "The Basement" to melancholy-rich anthems like "Girl Go" and the Madness-inspired "Mr. Odd." The playing is excellent all around, and there's not a duff track in the lot. In addition to the fine roundup of '80s highlights, Draining the Glass and Fishcoteque fans will want to check out this strong effort by the band.

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