The Jazz Butcher The Violent Years – AllMusic Review by Tim Sendra

The Violent Years

After leaving Glass Records and moving to Creation Records in the late '80s, the Jazz Butcher recorded a brace of fine albums, four of which are collected on 2018's The Violent Years. The band's leader, Pat Fish, embarked on this new venture without recently-gone-solo guitarist Max Eider, but with a vision for big pop songs, epic ballads, and still the occasional moment of eccentricity. The first album released on Creation was 1998's Fishcotheque, and it was an auspicious debut. Working with the Weather Prophets' rhythm section, Fish delivered a batch of tough, taut songs that ranged from the should've-been-a-hit "Next Move Sideways" to the Afro-pop-influenced "Living in a Village," the rollicking rocker "Looking for Lot 49," and the hip-hop-inspired "The Best Way," with a couple of nice ballads to balance them out. The lovely "Susie" even featured some guitar noise from Spacemen 3's Sonic Boom. It was a different feel for the Jazz Butcher, like they had become a "real" band somewhere along the way. The next album, 1989's Big Planet Scarey Planet, furthered that impression with another set of tight, hooky rock songs played by a gig-hardened band. Tracks like "Bicycle Kid" and "New Invention" come off like a bouncier Lloyd Cole; professional and slick, but not lifeless at all. There's still plenty of weirdness mixed in, whether it's the use of .....

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