Acoustic Ladyland
Living With A Tiger


4.5
superb

Review

by widowslaugh123 USER (19 Reviews)
March 9th, 2017 | 24 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Well-rounded jazz-punk

I signed up for Frippertronics review game after thinking someone should do the Melt-banana album Charlie. In exchange I got a band called Acoustic Ladyland and their album Living With a Tiger. I'm going to be honest, I had very low expectations. I incorrectly prejudged them based on the band name, artwork and album title. I pictured some bull*** sissy indie-pop garbage. Oh, how wrong I was.

What I got coming out of my speakers was positively jazz-punk sounding! I was ecstatic. I was getting fast punk beats with melodic saxophone and distorted bass! The first song, "Sport Mode", does sort of sound like an arena football anthem. It's the most accessible song on the album so it serves well as an opener. The first thing most people will notice about Acoustic Ladyland is their tenor sax player. The chorus of "Sport Mode" is very blissful and joyous sounding. The sax is playing a nice major-key victory riff. It sounds like you are winning.

However, you mustn't get too used to this feeling. A lot of this album is very dark and very ***ed up. "Not So" has a claustrophobic feel to it. There is a anxious quality to it as a relentless Minor Threat beat plays over tight metallic riffing and wailing sax. The first half of the album is the more accessible and listenable side (albeit still pretty crazy) and the second half gets the more nasty and gnarly experimental stuff. "The Mighty Q" stands alone on the record as it falls into every camp while still being dissimilar overall to the rest of the album.

"The Mighty Q" has a very hypnotic three-note guitar line and the tempo drops considerably. This might be the best track on the album as they reached a certain magic not found on the rest of the record. The sax plays a more "soulful" line then most of the bombast it usually plays. The next track "Worry" is also in the slower side but doesn't have the same minor-key tonality and psychedelic quality the Q does.

Another thing about this record is it is a jazz-punk record but isn't very jazz or punk. It's like a Venn diagram but then creates its very own bubble. It's fast like punk, it's got sax like jazz, but other than that what else does it have in common with those genres" Not much. It's mostly just a kickass rock and roll band who replaced their singer with a saxophonist. Thank goodness there isn't a vocalist to ruin the sound of the band.

I love horny music. Not "bow-chicka-bow-wow" horny but like music with horns in it. They don't need a vocalist to fill up the songs with melody because the sax comes up with plenty of catchy and infectious melodies. Sometimes it sounds a little high in the mix and it's hard to make out some of the guitar lines. However, it never blares too annoyingly and mostly pushes the songs up into the stratosphere.

The guitarist plays some really ***ed up solos that don't even play in the same key the song is in. This is awesome and keeps the album from being too safe. That's the thing with this record: it can border on noise music at times and other times sound like nice little tunes, but never straying too far in either direction. It rides a fine line between melody and noise while still rocking the *** out.

Listen to the absolutely disgusting guitar solo in "Gratitude." That thing is just nasty! It's moments like these that keep the record on your toes. It pulls a lot of punches but doesn't stray too far from the actual song. There are some drugged-out passages but it doesn't get too prog-rock or anything.

Overall I'm very glad I gave this record a chance. It's catchy, noisy, melodic, and has a really tight rhythm section. I'm glad to add this to my collection and it should have a spot in any music lovers library.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Demon of the Fall
March 9th 2017


10115 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I'm so psyched you did this AND enjoyed it! Well written review as well, hoping more people will read this & look into the band/album. Skinny Grin is great too but has vocals/inventive lyrics & no guitar (just sax) - quite different to this actually as this feels less structured/noisier. I like that you can hear the punk influences, do you think we should include "punk" as a band "tag" or is that going to be misleading?



I would've honestly struggled to explain this record in words, even though I've listed to it quite a lot, well played!



I'll add more later.

Digging: Lamb - Backspace Unwind

Demon of the Fall
March 9th 2017


10115 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

And they were great live as well, saw them a couple of times - so much fun!



I should really check out Melt Yourself Down, thanks for reminding me Sputnik... although not sure how many similarities there are.

widowslaugh123
March 9th 2017


1504 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks yeah I really like this record and been listening to it a lot. I'm thinking the punk tag would be a little misleading because I wouldn't say this record is that "punk" per se although you can tell the members are influenced by punk. Also I haven't heard their other records so I'm not sure how accurate it would be overall. But I don't know I might just be an elitist

Demon of the Fall
March 9th 2017


10115 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Definitely agree that it could potentially be misleading but think I'm wanting to sneak the extra tag in to encourage new listeners, haha. At least I'm honest with my intentions! Let's not though, wouldn't want to anger the genre aficionados.

widowslaugh123
March 9th 2017


1504 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I've definitely seen way less accurate tags on this website haha. I wouldn't throw a hissy fit if people thought of this as punk. I sort of think this record slightly leans more on the punk side than the jazz side anyway but yeah that's what's interesting about this record you can't really pigeonhole it into anything really.

Demon of the Fall
October 16th 2017


10115 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

More people should hear this, read the review because it explains things better than I could :-).

Demon of the Fall
June 27th 2018


10115 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Still no more ratings? (futile bump)

widowslaugh123
July 22nd 2018


1504 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This is still a fairly regular spin for me

Demon of the Fall
July 22nd 2018


10115 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Well I’m pleased someone else is enjoying it, just seems a shame that you did this excellent review & it remains relatively unnoticed (maybe people HAVE read it & just not checked the album out).



I might just randomly message a few users & ask them to check it, haha. Desperate times.

widowslaugh123
July 22nd 2018


1504 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I don’t think the review is that good haha but thanks man. Dude im just glad you showed me this album because it really does rank among my favorite records ever. Right up my alley seriously.

Beardog
November 30th 2018


2751 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The concept of this record sounds interesting. Gonna listen to this

Demon of the Fall
November 30th 2018


10115 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

YES!!!! Sorry I'm excited, this has 2 ratings - because I begged this guy to write a (very good) review, pleased it finally has someone's attention. Hope you enjoy, be sure to let me know.

Beardog
November 30th 2018


2751 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is really cool tbh, I feel like this would get shitloads of hype around Sput if it was properly checked

DDDeftoneDDD
April 17th 2019


4752 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Well...I like fucked up dark stuff.

Digging: Altar of Plagues - Teethed Glory and Injury

DDDeftoneDDD
April 17th 2019


4752 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Super Cool. Wasn't expecting it to be instrumental. Sax is organic af, it practically takes the part of lead singer. Brilliant songwriting and "albumwriting". TKS Demon. Will sure get back to this.

DDDeftoneDDD
April 17th 2019


4752 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I have to tripple post to say I read the review now and it matches. Its brilliantly reviewed. Adding my exact thoughts on the 2nd part of the album and that fucked up solo on Gratitude.



If you guys enjoy this vibe you can try and dig the latest Zapruder. Heavier but the same jazzy to punk and happy to melancholic moods. From this year you have the more mathrock from Ni. Try those releases 3 guys x)

Demon of the Fall
April 18th 2019


10115 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Hang on Zapruder is somewhat (even tenuously) like this? It was on my radar already but burried under a heap of other stuff. Need to check.

DDDeftoneDDD
April 18th 2019


4752 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

"Zapruder is somewhat (even tenuously) like this?" Precisely

widowslaugh123
April 19th 2019


1504 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Still needs more listens and ratings. I really think their name puts a lot of people off

DDDeftoneDDD
April 19th 2019


4752 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Everything is very deceiving...even the music itself lol



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