SHOPLIFTING 4 JESUS
Released November 7th 2011 on Hostage Music
'Wizards of odd return with more musical madness.'
Asserting that the only original thing on the album is the barcode, the band have also decided to steal as many samples as possible for the release, thieving unselfconsciously off everyone from Nirvana (‘I Blame Kurt Cobain’) to KC And The Sunshine Band (‘Wrong Is Right’) whilst also enlisting the likes of Cockney geezah Ray Winstone and Bez to read out excerpts from the Bible between tracks – a neat trick. Of course, it ultimately ends up a total mind-fuck by the time you get to track closer ‘Abide With Me,’ which is how it should be. After all, if we didn’t feel dirty, cheap and wonderfully used by the time we were finished with an Alabama 3 record, we’d want our money back.
This album has all the Alabama 3 tropes, allied to some new tricks and is unmistakeably theirs. What’s more; it swings hard, making for head-nodding pleasure at home, dancefloor action at a gig. Even in a slower shuffle, there’s a swing. And the album has Bez reading from The Sermon On The Mount, Ray Winstone reading from Exodus and Martina Cole on Mary Magdalene.
This album can sometimes be an uneasy listen but this is where the appeal in lies. Just when you think it has turned down an avenue you are not comfortable with the orgasmic mix of beats, harmonies and gravel dragged vocals coax you back and make you continue.
That formidable band of outlaws, Alabama 3, together (or perhaps more aptly described as ‘untogether’), for nearly fifteen years now, has produced one of their best albums ever.
JUST AMAZING. The heavy beats, the variety of sounds and pace throughout this album are like something I haven’t heard for a long time, something innovative, brave and...dare I say it, fun and unpretentious. Seriously, it almost doesn’t matter what music you’re into, you should give this album at least one listen, if only to appreciate the wit of this subtle soup of styles. 9/10