Winner of the Parliamentary Jazz Award for Best Media, 2019


Bushman?s Revenge

You Lost Me At Hello

A metallic variation on the 'power jazz' template

Bushman’s Revenge make an oddly predictable addition to the Rune Grammofon roster, alongside the like of MoHa!, Scorch Trio, and The Shining. Bushman’s guitarist Even Helte Hermansen also plays in The Shining, who’s postmodern prog requires some restraint. Here, however, he lets rip discursively, post-Hendrix psych rock style, in the company of Rune Nergaard (bass) and Gard Nilssen (drums). Hermansen dominates both Ginsberg, which has an underlay of clattering percussion while the guitarist wigs out in a metal-meets-free jazz pileup, and the back-to-basics No Sleep To Hammerfest, which fractures into an extended guitar solo over a splashy rhythm. 

On other tracks, the Bushman’s group sound could be triangulated somewhere between the Scorch Trio at their least jazzy, Caspar Br?tzmann’s Massakre, and Fred Frith’s Massacre. But while those other artists explore the hinterland between out rock and power jazz, stoking embers first kindled by Tony Williams’ Lifetime trio, Bushman’s Revenge are an altogether more slippery prospect, making almost no allusion to jazz whatsoever. You Lost Me could hardly be described as commercial, yet despite the aggression with which it has been laid down its metallic variation on the ?power jazz’ template sounds somewhat sanitised, though compelling. 

With Count The Notes In Your Head the group lay down lumbering, melodic, sub-Melvins riffola. B?leh?gda Rock City is more staccato and aggressive; a knotty drum pattern, scrabbling bass, and guitar wrangling quite at odds to the main thrust of the tune; oddly, it works. The band throw a curveball with Hell Is For Hello, a subtly rich though almost inaudible two minutes of resonance, before King Of Hello begins with a lovely riff straight from Dave Pajo’s Papa M songbook. The track becomes an increasingly frantic repeat of a single idea, culminating in a breathless climax. Contrast follows contrast, with the aforementioned No Sleep? coming hard on the heels of the gentle Ghost-writers In The Sky. The closing track, Champagne For My Real Friends slowly gatherers momentum toward a rowdy conclusion complete with a slack sing-along by the band.

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