Drummer Seb Rochford, you know, him with the unfeasible afro, seems to be everywhere these days. Frankly I’m surprised that he found time to make an album with his band, but it was certainly worthwhile. This is a storming maelstrom that builds slowly through African beats to an apocalyptic peak of intensity that leaves you drained, in a good way.
There are 11 tracks on the album and no two are the same but there is a distinct vibe created by the electronica, the beats of ‘Leafcutter’ John and the strangely subdued contributions of the two saxophonists in the band, Mark Lockheart and Pete Wareham. This is an urban, progressive jazz with a high density sound that avoids the obvious and wouldn’t know straight ahead if you threw it at them. Yet their music is accessible in its own crunked up way. The ninth track is where things get fully Biblical, where jazz meets metal in a fashion reminiscent of the Art Ensemble of Chicago. Rochford says that he “wanted to give everyone the most freedom ever” to change roles, but this is not free in the 1960s sense; it’s not difficult and not inaccessible. It feels remarkably fluent, but elaborate at the same time: a new direction in fact.