Shoplifting 4 Jesus
- Have you Been Having a Nightmare?
- I Blame Kurt Cobain
- We Stole The Moon
- It's About That Time
- Star Intro
- I've Been Seeing Stars (Ain't Seen The Light)
- Wrong Is Right
- Black Dog
- Summer In The City
- Who The Fuck Is John Sinclair?
- Let's Go Out 2Nite
- Abide With Me
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Wizards of odd return with more musical madness.
Arguably one of the oddest bands to emerge from Albion in the last few decades, and certainly one of the bravest, Brixton-based genre-swingers Alabama 3 have opted to go in a decidedly more hip-hop direction for their ninth effort, the intriguingly titled Shoplifting 4 Jesus. Yes readers, just when you thought you had them pegged, the multi-limbed musical adventurers have squeezed another surprise into their already bulging bag of tricks (encompassing country, acid house, dub and baggy at last count).
Asserting that the only original thing on the album is the barcode, the band have also decided to steal as many samples as possible for the release, thieving unselfconsciously off everyone from Nirvana (‘I Blame Kurt Cobain’) to KC And The Sunshine Band (‘Wrong Is Right’) whilst also enlisting the likes of Cockney geezah Ray Winstone and Bez to read out excerpts from the Bible between tracks – a neat trick. Of course, it ultimately ends up a total mind-fuck by the time you get to track closer ‘Abide With Me,’ which is how it should be. After all, if we didn’t feel dirty, cheap and wonderfully used by the time we were finished with an Alabama 3 record, we’d want our money back.
HOT PRESS Jan 2012
This album has all the Alabama 3 tropes, allied to some new tricks and is unmistakeably theirs. What’s more; it swings hard, making for head-nodding pleasure at home, dancefloor action at a gig. Even in a slower shuffle, there’s a swing. And the album has Bez reading from The Sermon On The Mount, Ray Winstone reading from Exodus and Martina Cole on Mary Magdalene.
There’s a lot of style in the brazen stealing, the tongue-half-in-cheek lyrics, the continued Alabama 3 groove. Could the return of a Tory government be a return to the heady days of the band’s debut under the fading sun of an outgoing Tory administration? Have the Brixton fires lit a fire under the band. Maybe laconic attitude and Acid Country Music is the way to survive the years to come – it’s worked for Larry Love, the Rev Dr. D. Wayne Love & Co.
This album can sometimes be an uneasy listen but this is where the appeal in lies. Just when you think it has turned down an avenue you are not comfortable with the orgasmic mix of beats, harmonies and gravel dragged vocals coax you back and make you continue.
That formidable band of outlaws, Alabama 3, together (or perhaps more aptly described as ‘untogether’), for nearly fifteen years now, has produced one of their best albums ever. This latest emission, provocatively entitled Shoplifting 4 Jesus, shines out like a lighthouse standing firmly on its rock, ensuring safety in dangerous and troubled waters... catchy melodies and a booty-shaking groove provide an anchor for vocoder-warped vocals, riot-torn rap and, totally out there, weird shit. THIS IS A SONIC MISSILE THAT WILL BLOW THE MINDS OF THE MASSES. OR AT THE VERY LEAST, IT WILL ADD WOOD TO THE FIRE THAT ALREADY BLAZES, DEEP DOWN AND LOW, WITHIN THE CHALICE OF THE CONGREGATION.
SOFT SECRETS USA
JUST AMAZING. The heavy beats, the variety of sounds and pace throughout this album are like something I haven’t heard for a long time, something innovative, brave and...dare I say it, fun and unpretentious. Seriously, it almost doesn’t matter what music you’re into, you should give this album at least one listen, if only to appreciate the wit of this subtle soup of styles. 9/10
LIZZ PAGE outlineonline.co.uk
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