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Post Date: 12/31/2005
The Rude Staircase
The Rude Staircase
Sukey Jump

Format Reviewed: CD

If this is to be believed, The Rude Staircase ceased to exist shortly after they finished recording Sukey Jump. One album, three shows... and according to that article, that's it.

If it's true, it's a pity. Sukey Jump is one of the most unique albums you're likely to come across -- it sounds like a version of The Polyphonic Spree in which everyone in the band plays an instrument as well as singing. "A Gaggle of Swans" and "Cranes" are like miniature symphonies performed by insane people, throwing together accordions, theremins, trombones, saxophones, vibraphones, guitars, mandolins, violins, tubas, trumpets and a whole lot of voices in a single cacophonous blast. Half the time it's impossible to figure out what's going on, but every so often the 18 member collective seizes on a particularly catchy melody and runs with it, yielding moments of transcendent gonzo brilliance. Admittedly, confusion reigns supreme most of the rest of the time, but those moments of brilliance are satisfying enough to justify a few spins. It's not like The Rude Staircase are going to make another record... right?

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