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WIZARDS OF ODD RETURN WITH MORE MUSICAL MADNESS.

Arguably one of the oddest bands to emerge from Albion in the last few decades, and certainly one of the bravest, Brixton-based genre-swingers Alabama 3 have opted to go in a decidedly more hip-hop direction for their ninth effort, the intriguingly titled Shoplifting 4 Jesus. Yes readers, just when you thought you had them pegged, the multi-limbed musical adventurers have squeezed another surprise into their already bulging bag of tricks (encompassing country, acid house, dub and baggy at last count).

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.

Edwin McFee, 16 Jan 2012
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