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The Jazz Butcher Press Option
September, 1994
Album Review: Waiting For The Love Bus
Option (USA)
September, 1994
Credit: Richie Unterberger

Waiting For The Love Bus
There's a clean, simple sound to a lot of this that Condition Blue detractors might appreciate. I'm ten years older now than when I made Bath, and right now, after all that morbid stuff, it only really feels like about three. There's rockin' shit and there's a big ballad or two and some weird little pop songs and a nice family sing-along about penguins. I hope you like it.
[Waiting For The Love Bus cover thumbnail]
The Jazz Butcher--which for about a decade, has pretty much been a front for singer-songwriter Pat Fish--is oh so utterly British, in the best and worst senses. The "group," now called the Conspiracy for some reason, continues to produce eccentric folk- rock, pop and new-wave. And Fish continues to perform tuneful originals with an offhand charm and droll wit on this release, which features dreamy arrangements with prominent electric and acoustic guitars. That's what's good about his Britishness. What's irritating are the affected vocals, which can sound like a not terribly appealing midpoint between Morrissey and Lou Reed, with a little bit of Lawrence from Felt. Ther's also the lyrical vagueness--songs about " Bakersfield ," " President Chang ," and " Kids In The Mall/Kaliningrad " that are evocative on the surface and insubstantial underneath. I like Pat's dreamy, acoustic-oriented textures far better than his electric ones, where it sounds a bit like he's trying to force himself to rock a little. A whole album of anthemic, reflective pop like " Sweetwater " (the best cut) might not be a work of genius, but it would yield a more consistent and pleasant effort, and I'd encourage him to concentrate on this direction. (TriStar/Sony)
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