Reason #335 Why The ’80’s Didn’t Suck: In Bath Of Bacon
This debut album by The Jazz Butcher is a rough diamond, containing the definitive version of Partytime, one of their most recognized and adored tracks. Allmusic states that “The songs here ( In Bath Of Bacon) are embryonic forays into styles he would explore more confidently on subsequent albums.” While I agree that the songs are a tad rougher, to me this is a little like saying that “the songs on The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan are embryonic forays into styles Dylan would explore more confidently on Blonde On Blonde.” Yes, I’m a huge fan of Pat, Max and Company, and I certainly listen to their discography more than Dylan’s (oops…how many people did I lose just there?), but that to me is a little too simplistic.
In Bath Of Bacon, like all proper Butcher albums, has its own unique sound and character. La Mer, along with Love Kittens are two great examples of those bizarre, sparse faux-folk songs they do so well (Robyn Hitchcock ain’t got nothin’ on Fish and Max!!), while Jazz Butcher Theme (“prefaced” by a wonderful jazz-lounge number that introduces the band) is wonderfully skewed pop at it’s finest. All of the songs are uniformly brilliant, left-of-the-dial alternative pop, and the album ends with one of my favorite Butcher ballads, Girls Who Keep Goldfish. A real treat.