'African Space Craft'
African Space Craft finds Keziah Jones continuing on his idiosyncratic way, this time out discovering guitar solos and an incredibly rasty wah-wah tone in what may well be his under-the-influence-of-grunge album. It starts characteristically enough with the rhythmic, acoustic thrash strum of "Million Miles From Home," but even though the sound is a little less frenetic and bit more power trio-ish, the band is still an evenly balanced unit. Once again, you're never quite sure exactly where the arrangements are going or exactly what Jones is getting at in the highly personal, sometimes surreal lyrics.
Race issues pop up more than once and "Colorful World" deals with them with frank street talk that might offend some sensitive ears -- but then so might the first surfacing of that biting wah-wah guitar. "Splash" is just one monster of a killer riff celebrating carnal pleasure -- it's frank, sexy, and not far away from something PJ Harvey would come up with. "Dear Mr. Cooper" and the title track are strong, too -- the rasty riffing very strong on the latter -- while "Speech" mellows things out and "Cubic Space Division" goes from hyper-rhythm to dreamily loping bridge and back again.
Jones gets his dynamics by playing with contrasts that way, be it that searingly raw wah-wah against high voices on "Never Gonna Let You Go" or the acoustic/electric call-and-response games of "If You Know." African Space Craft is a consistently strong record that's just a little more one-dimensional than Blufunk Is a Fact!, but not by much and it might be a better pick for anyone who would prefer a more electric, rock-oriented sound to check out a very unique and singular artist.