Some albums need to be heard to be believed. This isn’t one of them — but only because you probably still won’t believe it after you hear it. Unless you can believe in the existence of a band (and an album) that sounds like Tom Waits fronting Pere Ubu — if they were an avant-garde punk-jazz combo. Seriously.
THE PRESS RELEASE: “The City flounders in darkness: a naked victim of the enormous belching of over-industrialisation.” Penned by the Northern Irish writer Ray Kane, these words outline the scenario from which Skeleton Blush, the extraordinary, richly thicketed album by World Sanguine Report proceeds. Described by bandleader and primary composer Andrew Plummer as a “two act” album stretching across 53 minutes, Skeleton Blush was actually completed in late 2012, the follow up to 2009’s widely acclaimed Third One Rises album but has only now emerged, like something long gestating in the drainage systems beneath the city streets. Telling a tale of exile, near-death, love, loss and redemption in the face of overwhelming squalor, Skeleton Blush evokes the sound-worlds of decadent cabaret, street music, electric jazz, avant-rock, 1970s East European animation in it’s intricate storytelling, in which brass, guitars and electronics mix like the paints in a palette to make for a vivid and ever-shifting backdrop.Though Plummer’s compositions are the skeletal key, it’s the scrupulously expert, close-knit, intricately arranged and altogether beautiful, emotionally inspired playing of this super-group of renowned musicians as a whole which makes this album; James Allsopp (baritone sax, bass clarinet, whistling), Alex Bonney (trumpet), Matthew Bourne (Rhodes, piano, analogue synths) Ruth Goller (electric bass, vocals) and Tom Greenhalgh (drums).”