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Acoustic Ladyland - Skinny Grin

Acoustic Ladyland

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 1 out of 5

ACOUSTIC Ladyland are a hotly tipped outfit who essentially deliver jazz with a post-punk sensibility. They’re winning friends in a lot of high places and have earned some nice reviews for live performances and single reviews thus far.

Frankly, the attraction is difficult to fathom. Skinny Grin, the new album, is a shambolic collection of tracks that occasionally sound as though they’ve been thrown together without any need for coherence or logic.

It’s certainly edgy, definitely arty but given some of the reviews I’ve read, it smacks of pretentious qualities that are impossible to warm to.

In fact, some of the tracks are more likely to have you reaching for the paracetamol to calm a throbbing head than overly inspired or yearning to hear more.

Just occasionally, there’s hints at quality. Glass Agenda, one of few actual songs on the long-player, hints at the energetic pop-punk fuzz of early Blur, The Stranglers and Inspiral Carpets, albeit set against a firmly jazzy backdrop.

While there’s a cool fusion of saxophone and blues guitars on Your Shame that makes for quite a rousing listen. Red Sky, by contrast, offers one of the more mellow moments that wouldn’t sound out of place against a cinematic backdrop.

The Rise, meanwhile, mixes the madcap energy of classic Madness with the urban edge of The Streets – a feat that many are sure to find admirable.

But all too often, tracks tend to have a car crash quality. Offerings such as New Me, Paris and Skinny Grin are a catastrophic mess that come nowhere close to resembling music. In fact, they just plain get on your nerves.

Of the 13 recordings on offer, over half put you in a bad mood and have you screaming for an end and some respite. So, while their name suggests a laidback collection of acoustic-inspired recordings, the reality couldn’t be more different.

Skinny Grin is a lamentable offering that begs only one question – just what were they thinking?

Track listing:

  1. Road Of Bones
  2. New Me
  3. Red Sky
  4. Paris
  5. Your Shame
  6. Skinny Grin [Scott Walker Mix]
  7. Salt Water [Scott Walker Mix]
  8. Cuts & Lies
  9. Glass Agenda
  10. That Night
  11. The Rise
  12. The Room
  13. Hitting Home

  1. You’re wrong. It’s mint.

    Scott Fenner    Dec 8    #