DescriptionLullabye Arkestra are a bass and drum duo who’ve been playing and self-releasing glorious slabs of distorto-soul for many years. Formed in Toronto by Justin (drums) and Katia (bass), the Ark has played shows as a duo and as a large band, adding horns, voices and organ. Their slow, swampy, overdriven cover of “Summertime” was an early signature tune, along with a clutch of original rave-ups ranging from one-minute combustions of riffage and hollering to longer, fuzzed-out R&B numbers, often marked by sincere but sassy boy/girl call-and-response vocals.
This album is a knockout. Bursting with barely controlled chaos on some numbers, stripped back to sultry, art-damaged loversoul on others, Ampgrave is a hell of a good time, full of testifying and tenderness, see-sawing between massed instruments and the raw minimalism of the core rhythm section. Justin rounds up fellow Do Make Say Think players Ohad, Brian and Jason on horns and hollering, along with Shelton Deverell on organ and Julie Penner on violin. An additional 10-voice “Chorus Oblivia” of exuberant caterwaul also rallies to the cause.
Opening track “Unite!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” explodes into a beautiful cacophony of horn vamps, crashing through ascending chord crescendos while screamo vocals punctuate the flight. “All I Can Give Ya” builds from a delicate exchange of devotional verses by Justin and Kat, towards a soaring, searing chorus. “Hold On” follows with another round of call and response vocals laid over a slow, pummeling soul groove, before bursting into it’s distressed, desparate refrain. “Y’Make Me Shake” is entirely self-explanatory, and rounds out Side One. Our lovers continue to rock on the flipside, with the album’s centerpiece lullabye “Come Out, Come Out” kicking things off. Three mighty tunes pile up from there, gaining crazed momentum until the final swirl of “Bulldozer of Love” segues into the four-on-the-floor anthematics of “Ass Worship”. Hail! Hail! Rock n’ roll. Ampgrave is blistering and beautiful CPR for the soul. Unabashed, unpretentious rock action.
Release date: 25 September 2006 (Europe), 9 October 2006 (rest of world)
Running time: 36:34
Packaging notesCD xxxxxxxxx xxxxx.
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2. All I Can Give Ya
3. Hold On
4. Y'Make Me Shake
5. Come Out, Come Out
6. Nation Of Two
7. Bulldozer Of Love
8. Ass Worship
Justin Small: drums, vocals
Katia Taylor: bass, vocals
Mr. Ohad Benchetrit: saxophone, screaming
Mr. Brian Cram: trumpet, screaming
Mr. Jason Baird: saxophone
Mr. Shelton Deverell: organ
Ms. Jule Penner: violin
Featuring The Bellows: Marco (Deadeye) Landini and Randy Ray
Additional vocals by Chorus Oblivia: Brad Davis, Jeff Barber, Daragh McGoldrick, Ameila McGoldrick, Stephanie Comilang, Derek Stephens, Nadia Moss, Don Wilkie, Amit Dahan, Yochana Benchetrit
Recorded and produced at Th’Shvitz in Toronto by Ohad Benchetrit, 2005-2006.