Laddio Bolocko — Live and Unreleased 1997 – 2000 (2015, No Quarter)
Hard to imagine that some of the material on today’s featured release is already twenty. Alas, great music is timeless. Suffice to say, Marginal mouth’s watered when No Quarter released New York jazz punk quartet Laddio Bolocko’s Live and Unreleased 1997 – 2000 LP a few winters ago. Straight out of the direct spiritual-sonic lineage of This Heat, Laddio’s music is entrancingly bizarre, challenging, and a much needed relief as the late 1990s and early 2000s seemed to suggest rock music’s reeking corpse needed to be hastily added to the burning rubbish heap. Stink notwithstanding, it’s alive, it’s aliiiiiive. Veiled every so slightly beneath the psyche-free jazz freakouts, Laddio Bolocko possess surfeit technical ability. Tracks like “Columbia St. Dub” and “Realm of ideas cs” straddle the line between Tortoise’s slow, turtleneck and horn rimmed frame sportin’ clove smoking, Chicago long burners, mixed with Fugazi’s later, more abstract work, and Bitches Brew. No small feat. “How About This For My Hair?” (parts “A” and “B”) Sound like a head on between Mars Volta and Don Cab, who have both jettisoned the bullshit and the egos. Absolute barn burners. The live cuts hold their own equally well. I’m willing to wager that on an on night, no one could hold a candle to this band, save maybe This Heat themselves and Fugazi. It’s a bit spare at times, but given that it is a compendium of demos, ideas, and the like, that is to be expected. If you’re into that oh-so Marginal sound, that does not deter. The bigger question is, is this a document of rock music’s last stand? Might be, but might as well go out swinging.