WRITTEN FOR GOBSHOUT
After spending two years in the making, ‘Key’ – the seventh album from progressive jazz cohorts Red Snapper has eventually arrived.
Since forming in 1993, the band have continuously commandeered genres and made them their own by pushing boundaries in the brutal fashion only they know how.
‘Key’ sticks to their progressive path but despite the introduction of jazz saxophonist Tom Challenger, guest vocalists Gavin Clarke (UNKLE, Clay Hill) and Mercury Prize nominee Eliza Carthy, it’s slow starting.
‘In Your Backs’, ‘Chimee’ and ‘Spikey’ might take a biscuit from the disco to make sense as it all becomes a little bit too much with Red Snapper not really knowing what they want to be, resulting in a car crash of sound.
The drums punch and kick throughout with Challenger’s sax dominating the melody which has a grace that lies deep inside the array of supersonic electro soundscapes that later reveal themselves as repetitive and thoughtless.
It’s when Challenger takes control in ‘Take Your Medecine’ that it all comes to life and the fusion of genre is seamlessly welded together in a way that the opening of the LP fails to imitate.
As Carthy enters the fray in ‘Loveboat’ the tempo is temporarily raised with disco jazz licks pounding their way to a dance floor near you before ‘Eye Liner Stab’ and ‘Great First Touch’ begin to lift ‘Key’ from near oblivion.
Yeah it’s progressive, it’s just not that good.