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Album Review

Schrader’s, Ed Music Beat – “Jazz Mind” – [Load Records]

Thurston Hunger   4/11/2012   A Library, CD

When I first listened to this I was blown away, and remain
so. I didn’t know anything other than it was on the mighty
Load label, and by the time I got to “Air Show” I had the
singer pegged as a lapsed chaplain. More effete than a pure
degenerate, a weariness to the voice and body, but an
agile mind (summoning up lyric after lyric that resonate
in dueling/drooling right/wrong synapses). But Schrader’s
voice is not always a baritone in a bar booth confessional,
on the closer after a sugar overload he rants on fire. And
the track “Rats” is scream-sung from inside a collapsing
flophouse. Instrumentation is sparse, Schrader clubbing
demons out of a floor tom and Devlin Rice serving as
bodyguard bassist. Other sonic touches, shimmering synth
on Gem Asylum, the occasional whisper of hi-hat, geiger
counter bridge in the double track #9, a sample of a
tuburcular bagpipe on “Right” are just perfect. And as on
“Right” with other spots, Schrader is as close to a lounge
croon as the loony bin. Weighing in at a scant 20 min,
make no mistake this is a definite heavyweight contender.
Puts the Hot L back into Baltimore!

-Thurston Hunger

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