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The Jazz Butcher Press Option
May, 1987
Album Review: Distressed Gentlefolk
Option (USA)
May, 1987
Credit: Scott Becker

Distressed Gentlefolk
We were deeply confused young men when we made this record. Max, Jones and I had all been drinking dangerously for over a year now. Generally, we had it down in concert. In just about every other department, however, we were coming to bits, individually and collectively, and to me this record actually shows the morbid state of things at the time.
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Earlier Jazz Butcher LPs showed our hero to be the quintessential charming Englishman: a dab of nobility here, some dry Oxonian wit there, and a smirking, smart-ass grin spread across his face. His weapons were his cutting lyrics (well- sharpened) and a tongue-in-cheek kind of rippling folk-rock inflected with cocktail jazzisms. Much of that kind of behaviour is to be found here, but several of the tunes are so lacking in bite that anyone hearing this guy for the first time might think he was playing it straight. Is he? " Still In The Kitchen " and " Who Loves You Now? " seem a bit too self-consciously maudlin, while " Domestic Animal " seems to strain for silliness. Of course, the joke might be over my head, and the record is not without its clever moments, but overall this is a lesser effort. (Big Time/RCA)
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