JAD FAIR & PHONO-COMB Monsters, Lullabies...And The Occasional Flying Saucer (Shake The Record Label)

"Jad really needs no introduction!!!!" gushed the press release, without the slightest whiff of irony, so I can report only that he used to be in Half Japanese (who may or may not be responsible for the "1/2 Japanese / 1/2 Gentlemen / Not Beasts" album that can be seen on the inner sleeve of Sonic Youth’s "Washing Machine". If you squint a bit), and his backing ensemble comprise former members of similarly household names Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet and The Sadies. Yes, we’re lost in American low-fi indie territory, and somebody’s eaten the map. Which, strangely enough, is no bad thing, because, displaying its lyrical preoccupations proudly in its title, "Monsters, Lullabies...And The Occasional Flying Saucer" sounds a bit like the kind of record Frank Black might make if he hadn’t given up being any good in favour of feeding the corporate pie-producing machine. All but two of these seventeen tracks of ‘twisted pop’ (apparently) are over in less than three minutes, and are perhaps best typified by the scattershot alien paranoia of "Object: To Serve Man" and the hidden track 85, a dishevelled live assault on "Shakin’ All Over". If you’re as disappointed as you rightly should be by Black Francis’ post-Pixies output, "Monsters, Lullabies etc etc" is probably as good a substitute as we’re going to get.

Teenage Fanclub And Jad Fair