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Snap That Rhythm Section

Red Snapper
Prince Blimey

Since I got Red Snappers Reeled And Skinned album about 2 months ago, I've been on a mission to get as much of their music as I possibly could. For some reason or another, their blend of improv-style live musician sound coupled with elements and arragements typical of electronic music hit me square in the jaw and I simply had to have more music by them. Luckily, they had just released their also-stellar Making Bones album and although it was a little different than the album I had gotten, I still thought it was one of the better albums I'd heard recently. Like Reeled and Skinned, though, their other full-length album was only available on import, so I had to bide my time until I could find it.

I finally found it, and once again, I was not dissapointed by it. While Reeled and Skinned has an overall more laid-back vibe and Making Bones experiments with using more vocals and other elements, Prince Blimey is more of a hopped-up affair. Songs move at more rapid paces and the double-bass twangs out-of-control.

The first track "Crusoe Takes A Trip" starts out in kind of a minor key with a repetitive drum and guitar line overlayed with a haunting tone, but once that double bass slaps, the song busts out with some frenetic drumming and bursts of horns. The saxophone intro of "3 Strikes and You're Out" sounds like it could have come from a more upbeat Morphine song, but soon the drumming kicks in and reminds you just what album you're listening to. After a mellower track, the group breaks right into "Get Some Sleep Tiger," possibly the best track on the album. The very beginning sounds a bit discombobulated, but all the elements soon fall together and layer upon one another as they march up and down the scale. Right in the middle of the track, there's a saxophone solo that tears things up for awhile before a short interlude and full-fledged blow-out ending. For lively instrumental music, there's no better.

The group then trips out for a couple tracks before landing on "The Paranoid," a stuttering hipster shuffle that is also the only track on the disc that contains vocals. Whereas Beth Orton did the duty on Reeled and Skinned, this time the honor goes to Anna Haigh, and she does quite a fine pouty job of it. The group spices up "The Last One" with a nice live sample and that omnipresent double-bass again provides a nice, slithering backbone to the track. Before winding down on the last two tracks of the album, they go full-steam one last time with "Digging Doctor What What." I can't emphasize enough how cool the rhythym section is in Red Snapper, and once again they rip it up big-time on the track.

Overall, the only problem I was left with after hearing the disc was deciding which one of their albums I enjoy the most. Every single one of them is very solid and very listenable (as well as innovative), so I'm going to just postpone that answer and once again say that I had a blast with this one. If you enjoy instrumental/electronic music, or if you're sick of the post rock thing, check these guys out. You won't be sorry.

Rating: 8.5