The three members of Les Triaboliques (all British, never mind the name) have been in more bands and crossed more genres than most people have had hot dinners. Yet it's to their credit that it doesn't show. What they've come up with is an intimate little album that draws on influences from pretty much everywhere on the globe, but throws them into a melting pot where the main ingredient is the blues. There are plenty of surprises, starting with "Gulaguajira (I, The Dissolute Prisoner)" which marries a Cuban-ish melody to Russian words, making for an unusual and strangely dark juxtaposition, while their take on the traditional blues "Jack O'Diamonds" is slow, drawing things out (and vocally very hushed, which is true of all the songs, letting the voice become part of the instrumental river). Perhaps the weirdest mix, though, is a traditional hora that bookends "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood," placing the piece in a completely different context, and making for a pretty seamless bit of culture bending. There are plenty of odd stringed instruments plucked throughout, but they're all used very effectively, building up layers of sounds and rhythm that work off and propel each other. Although accomplished, there's nothing slick about this disc -- it sounds more as if it was recorded live in the living room. But much of the magic here lies in that intimacy and interplay, like the kabosy that flashes brightly in and out of "Crossing the Stone Bridge" or the soft atmospherics that temper the closer "Phosphor Lane." It's not a record that wants to set the world on fire; instead it's happy to illuminate one tiny corner of it, and in that, it succeeds very well.
AllMusic Review by Chris Nickson