The Damn Jammage – ‘Well Hanged EP’ (Metric Acorn)


In true voracious vaudeville style, the “rambunctious” North London (via a ‘bewitching hour’ New Orleans and Bertolt Brecht era Berlin) 6-piece, The Damn Jammage, bowl into town like some David Lynch created augur minstrels.

Their debut EP spares no time with subtle introductions: thrusting us straight into some kind of bewildering Cab Calloway redolent, bawdy, cabaret environment, fueled by decadently posed humorous narration, on the opening bar-room skat, ‘No Rest For The Crooked’.   Comparisons to every esoteric blues baritone, low and gravelly-throated vocalist, from Tom Waites to Nick Cave, have been made about the Jammage’s ringleader, Danny Rapscallion. But his, often, mooning timbre sounds more like a mix of The Muppet’s in-house band’s (Dr.John caricature) Dr.Teeth, and the  “indeterminate breed of dog” piano player, Rowlf, when he at his most theatrical.

The rest of the ‘Well Hanged EP’ highlights the “rabbles” dark-tinged country, and, Balkan knees-up odes. ‘Black & Blue’ creeps at first, like a soothing Gothic balled or haunted Ry Cooder soundtrack, before a thunderclap jerk sends this 7-minute minor opus into a cyclonic strutting march: that bellows with a resounding cry of “There be no future/if there ain’t no past”.  The aromatic yearning and sweetly cooing sighs of Jasmine Daniels and Lottie Bowater lend support to Rapscallio’s growls.  One plays the part of knockabout duet partner on the whimsical, eulogium, accordion waltz, ‘Stockpiling Poison’; whilst going on to impersonate a vampish version of Emmylou Harris, to her male leads Waites-esque drunken drawl suitor, on ‘(Show Me) Lonely Lost Love’.

Never let it be said that the Jammage don’t give you value for money: their 4-track EP evokes plenty of similarities to an inspired myriad of influences; though their natural environment is the bayou’s of Bon Temps in ‘The Big Easy’; rather then the dull grey realism of London. An entertaining and assiduously well-performed cavalcade of show tune romps, and black-humor country wit.

Due: 17/10/2011



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