Being the most thorough and astute compilation of the Jazz Butcher's prime, Glass Records' recordings from the mid-'80s make Draining the Glass a very essential collection indeed. Lead wit, vocalist, and talented multi-instrumentalist Pat Fish (aka the Jazz Butcher) penned most of these sophisticated pop gems, all variously infused with generous doses of jazz and humor. Joined by fellow composer, vocalist, and guitarist Max Eider, Bauhaus/Love and Rockets bassist David J., drummer O.P. Jones, and a revolving cast of guest musicians, Fish guided the first incarnation of the Jazz Butcher through a handful of loose, yet deceptively urbane albums between 1982-1986 (A Scandal in Bohemia, Sex and Travel, etc.). Drawing from this inspired musical run, Draining the Glass features fleet, high-end pop movers like "The Human Jungle," "Big Saturday," and "Girlfriend," along with tongue-in-cheek production numbers like "The Jazz Butcher Meets Count Dracula" and "Bigfoot Motel." And shoring up the band's well-publicized love affair with booze, Fish contributes the fine, jazz-guitar swinger "Partytime," with Eider chiming in with his own cabaret-style homage "D.R.I.N.K." Changing course a bit, Fish also indulges in relatively sincere and melancholy cuts like "Angels" and "Girls Who Keep Goldfish," the likes of which would crop up even more on future outings. A great collection tailored made for those who like their pop bristling with casual brilliance, particularly when it's emanating from a jukebox at the local pub.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Cook