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Norwich six-piece Juke and the All Drunk Orchestra initially released this album as a limited CD last year, and it went down so well that it has now reappeared on fancy double vinyl and a less scarce CD edition so more people can wrap their ears round the Juke and his cohorts’ bold rock’n’roll/swing hybrid.
The first comparison that springs to mind on listening to their lively brass-heavy workouts is World Inferno Friendship Society, Brooklyn’s ex-Sticks and Stones punk-cabaret troupe, but the vocals are sparser and gnarlier and more exhortative with unapologetic shades of Tom Waits and Jon Spencer or That Handsome Devil being the order of the day rather than Terricloth’s theatrical crooning. Even so, W/IFS are certainly the most obvious influence here to these jaded ears anyway.
There’s some nice spooky surf guitar bits in places which I really like because the wibbliness offsets the otherwise too jolly brass-laden bounce and (mostly) saves them from drifting into throwaway Gogol Bordello/Mariachi El Bronx cheesotica territory. Sometimes it’s got that London party r’n’b feel like King Salami and the Cumberland Three or MFC Chicken, quite a vintage garage rock’n’roll sound drenched in saxophone. All in all it’s an impressively bold and energetic helping of brass-soaked rock’n’roll and the best record to come out of Norwich since...er...anyone from Norwich want to help me out here?
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