Jackie O Motherfucker ‎– Cross Pollinate

4 out of 5

Label: Union Pole

Produced by: Jackie O Motherfucker (?)

Early JOMF, before their obsession with Americana and folk influences made them even odder oddballs than they already were, Cross Pollinate finds the group operating in a more traditional post rock vein – driving bass lines and a steady beat, recognizable guitar lines – with wandering horns throughout giving it a light jazzy dusting. The excellent A-side has a couple of long, grinding and grooving tracks which both maintain a somber, moody pace, with the somewhat more open-ended Birds and Insects propped up by its steady low-end backbone until that backbone can become the leading force – a swaying guitar accompanying it – on Misery Failing.

The B-side goes heavy, and then weird. Spanish Massacre invites sudden blasts of distortion and a more aggressively, marching syncopation. The track breaks down here and there – disassembles – and then recovers. Closer March to the Witches Castle is where things go a bit astray: this is a very jammy track, fading in and out on horns and theremin and guitar and pitter-patter drums, without much tying it together. It works as an epilogue, but gives the impression of the group being worn out on tighter ideas after the stronger impression of the lead-ins.