Fire Records next spring will follow up its collection of the first four albums by The Jazz Butcher, Pat Fish’s long-running U.K. indie-pop outfit, with a new box set called The Violent Years that compiles the next four LPs, all originally released on Creation Records between 1988 and 1991.
Due out March 9 on streaming/download or in a 4CD box set encased in a book, The Violent Years collects straight, bonus-less reissues of Fishcotheque (1988), Big Planet, Scarey Planet (1989), Cult of the Basement (1990) and Condition Blue (1990). The collection can be pre-ordered now via Bandcamp.
The Violent Years follows the October release of The Wasted Years, which brought together The Jazz Butcher’s first four studio albums: In Bath of Bacon (1983), A Scandal in Bohemia (1984), Sex and Travel (1985) and Distressed Gentlefolk (1986).
Fire Records offers the following comments on the four records that comprise The Violent Years:
“This was a rock ‘n’ roll thing, not some ‘eccentricity.’ I had my shades and I had my fringed suede jacket and I had the Weather Prophets’ rhythm section,” recalled Pat. “That rare beast, an LP of cool, laid back pop,” said Record Mirror.
Big Planet, Scarey Planet
“This was a real ‘band’ album by a touring unit which had become really quite ferocious.” Pat again. The sound is bigger, symphonic – all swirling guitars behind the vitriol and conjecture; a post-Smithsian screenplay for Coronation Street. Sounds reckoned it was a “Vicious mismatch of outrage, black humour and sentiment.” And Mick Mercer in the Melody Maker said: “Good old Butch – bringing you tomorrow’s shit today.” He liked that. Perfect.
Cult of the Basement
Withdrawing very much into their own mad little world, something’s happening here – what it is ain’t exactly clear. There’s still jangle but it’s wrestling with accordions. It’s “lean, jazz and cabaret-style pop gems,” claimed All Music. “A disconcertingly fine magnum opus which, if it emanated from a more in-vogue source, would currently be having its maverick genius analysed to death,” the Melody Maker added.
Solo now, but with a band playing “smart pop songs with cleverly twisted lyrics, ringing guitars, and sad sax solos; a poppy kind of music that’s slightly nostalgic and still hip,” quipped Option magazine. Pat is still “punning, clever displays of hurt and revulsion.” (© Select)
Below, listen to “Racheland” of Condition Blue.
PREVIOUSLY ON SLICING UP EYEBALLS