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Larry And His Flask Larry And His Flask
Album: This Remedy
Label: Xtra Mile
Tracks: 12

Having been absent for five years, the Oregon six-piece clearly had a whole barrel-load of pent up energy to release, hence this exuberant romp through a collection of folk, rock, bluegrass, vaudeville swing and gypsy jazz that captures their raucous live shows.

They burst out of the restraints with 'Atonement', a surging, brass-splashed giddying whirl around the room with a sort of ska on speed rhythm and Jamin Marshall's stand up drums galloping to the end and its big arms linked singalong finale. The brass section keep the adrenaline flowing with the sunshine sparking 'Doing Fine' whipping up a carnival in the headphones before they take a breather for the intro to the five-minute title track before heading back to the middle of the dance floor, banjo and mandolin in tow, Ian Cook singing about harbingers of death, star spangled skies, heavenly interventions, love and the positive power of music.

They keep up the exhausting pace pretty much throughout, 'Ellipsis', 'Begin Again' with its vaguely Balkan stomp, a goodtime country bounce through 'The Place That It Belongs' referencing 'Gentle On My Mind' along the way, 'Dearly Departed' a breakneck twang guitar and banjo moshfest and You Won't the hooch fuelled bastard punk progeny of Charlie Daniels, the Foggy Mountain Boys and Bill Monroe.

It's not all full tilt, the piano accompanied six-minute 'Never All The Times' is a drunken New Orleans sway fused with a dash of Billy Joel, 'Hoping Again' all morning after the night before gospel sway with Cook dropping another mention of the maker above while the album ends pouring out 'Three Manhattans' stirred with a plinkety piano twist of Randy Newman. Take the cure.

Mike Davies