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Bobby Lee Shakedown In Slabtown

The first solo album from Sheffield’s Bobby Lee is a slow burn warm-up to what you somehow know will become a lifelong affair.

Released: 17 August 2020
Shakedown In Slabtown

Settle down and give it some space for there’s much to fall in love with here, like the deep, dirty groove and sawtooth flange buzz of ‘Listing’. Then there’s the tick, splash, boom, thunk of proto-drum machine on ‘Hevvy Friendz’, that holds (almost) steady and offers up a comfy bed upon which ghostly chimes and looping guitars wriggle and writhe like Sunday morning lovers.

‘Palomino’ evokes the sparse desolation that Ry Cooder brought to Paris, Texas with flickers of Bonnie Prince Billy and Kristin Hersh at her most down-home. For lovers of the low-end a nod is owed to the phenomenal and deeply entwined rhythm section provided by Guy Whittaker and Mark Armstrong, making their presence known at a subliminal level without needing to break into the limelight.

This is instrumental music at its best – enough variation on a theme to keep things interesting without resorting to dissonance, and suggesting narration without suffering the absence of words. The album closes with an eleven minute 'everybody in' one-shot-grind through Warren Zevon’s ‘Join Me In L.A.’ that takes its time but is still over too soon, leaving me simultaneously full up and hungry for more. Shakedown in Slabtown delivers the aching nourishment of true melancholy – it feels like being hollowed out with a warm spoon.