Big Rude Jake
first track on the latest release from the Toronto-based swingpunk
combo Big Rude Jake sounds like a New Orleans funeral marchupbeat
yet bittersweet, with Jake's whiskey-tinged voice crooning over
blasting brass. It sets the pace for the rest of the album, a
moody romp through several genres of music, from the swingin'
sounds of "Dinner with the Devil" to the Tom Waitsian
"Speak Easy" to the thrash anthem "Let's Kill All
The Rock Stars." Yet even with its mishmosh of musical stylings,
the self-titled album demonstrates a remarkable consistency, with
each song building on the last.
such a wide musical berth is a trademark of band leader and songwriter
Jake Rude, who counts Raymond Chandler, Bertolt Brecht and Joe
Strummer among his lyrical influences. And Mr. Rude has not been
hindered in expressing his wry humor and singular sound with this
latest project, the band's first release on its new label, Roadrunner
Records. Evincing an old-school jazz influence coupled with an
East Village edginess, the new CD maintains all the creative integrity
of Big Rude Jake's first two records and includes re-recordings
of two songs from earlier releases, "Blue Pariah" and
"Queer for Cat."
Rude Jake has had a strong following in Canada since hitting the
music scene almost five years ago, and swing-lovers here in the
States should take note: Several songs on the new release are
quite danceable, and the others are worth a listen simply for
their lyrical magic. Mr. Rude also puts on a raucous, high-octane
live show, and the band is currently traversing the continent
on an 18-month tour to promote their latest effort. If you like
a little bourbon in your bop, be sure to check them out.