Jumbo's Killcrane

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Jumbo's Killcrane

It's really quite perplexing that grunge disappeared so quickly and completely from the music landscape. While many styles that disappeared from the mainstream radar still thrive, or at least survive, in the underground, grunge is almost completely extinct. Perhaps groups decided to alter their sound out of reverence to the memory of Nirvana, or perhaps bands such as Creed, Staind and Godsmack are what results when musicians use grunge as a reference point instead of skewing punk as the genre's pioneers did.

However, if fans search far enough, they can still find bands that mumble over muddy basslines and liberally douse catchy hooks with feedback to scare away squares. Jumbo's Killcrane transports listeners to a glorious bygone era, a time when Soundgarden still channeled an unusually dazed-and-confused Led Zeppelin instead of making successful forays into pop soundcraft and when Nirvana still felt a financial sting after destroying its equipment at the end of a show.

On its latest disc, Il Cadavers Eccellente, Jumbo's Killcrane stretches its songs to every extreme, from delicate instrumental intros to shrieking sonic booms, from clearly constructed melodies to staggered structures that make sense only when the song is viewed as a whole. Heavy as it can be, Cadavers maintains a sense of accessibility, a quality that's not always present in the live renditions of the songs the disc contains. In concert, Jumbo's Killcrane strips away the minimal polish from its tunes, then just keeps scraping, producing scratched and tarnished versions of the originals.

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