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Tomorrow We Will Run Faster

Chicago's [B]Sweep The Leg Johnny[/B] - and isn't that just a fabulous name for any new-prog ensemble? - are the link between the slow noise of [a]Slint[/a] and the hitherto obscure early-'70s English

Tomorrow We Will Run Faster

8 / 10 Chicago's Sweep The Leg Johnny - and isn't that just a fabulous name for any new-prog ensemble? - are the link between the slow noise of Slint and the hitherto obscure early-'70s English Marxist progressive jazz-rock scene (Matching Mole, Henry Cow/Slapp Happy/Art Bears). Which would seem to damn them to a life spent playing to audiences of portly blokes who wear big shorts and sandals, manage record shops and have a bedroom full of vinyl records - but no mates.

/img/STLJc.jpg The essence of STLJ is distilled on one track. 'Rest Stop', should you choose to listen, is one of the most intense 15 minutes you will ever spend in the company of a band; we have slow tuneless strumming, building up to bursts of frenzied chord explosions, a musical equivalent of a Jackson Pollock paint-splatter session. It's a song in at least 36 separate sections that never really seems to be over. Even as it goes into the calmer, almost Coltrane-like finale 'Skin', you can still hear the sulky, almost off-key sax notes of Steven (in keeping with the current vogue none of the members have second names and photos are fashionably blurred) parping away in your head. It's a very beautiful record in a strange and twisted way.

If you've been in mourning since the demise of Northern Uproar, there isn't much to get excited about here. But to Sweep The Leg Johnny, we say, 'Come on in, with misanthropic squirty sax noises way down in the mix, oblique lyrics and complex atonal jazz structures, you are most welcome.'

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