Label: Rubber Czech Records Release date: 01/03/10 Website: For some time now, I have been nursing the secret fear that the ol' passion motor in my think-sack had broken. It seemed that too many messy nights, years of bleak news barrages and the incessant bleating of lobotomized Radio 1 DJs had pounded my heart and head flat. I am genuinely relieved then, to declare that my enthusiasm is alive and well and warmly embracing This Disquiet Dog with tearful glee. Misterlee is the musical alias of Midlands-based multi-instrumentalist, Lee Allatson, and this album sees him in fruitful collaboration with guitar virtuoso Jamie Smith. Lee drops some brilliant beats with his drums whilst also contributing fantastic electronic flourishes and real-life samples, superb vocals and a host of other skilfully manipulated instruments to the proceedings. Jamie's guitar playing is simply incredible, jolting from the blissful to the nerve-frayingly-fractured as if the strings were struggling with bi-polar disorder. These unique sonic treats are accompanied by lyrics of great wit, verve and an esotericism that would have Franz Kafka bawling with bewilderment. The final product is a record in which various different music genres, such as punk, spoken word, folk and noise, bleed into one another and then coagulate into something extraordinary. What makes This Disquiet Dog really sparkle, however, is the sheer amount of surprises it holds. The song destinations are unforeseeable, conventions are blasted apart and unknown noises erupt from all sides. For instance, the seemingly throwaway wail of a siren begins one track and then dies almost instantly, only to reappear later, snaking through the music around it in gorgeous harmony. A number of these choices seem to have been made as much in the name of mischief as art and in general the album is pulled off with great humour. What's more, the record is exceptionally well structured. At eight tracks long there is enough room for experimentation and development without the whole project collapsing into a self-indulgent, avant garde mess. What's more still, these tracks are then ordered in a such a way that by the time the seventh track is reached your mind is open enough to accept what is essentially three minutes of a heartbeat and sporadic drumming. The songs of real note include the two most accessible tunes, 'Littleman (We're Alive Here)' and 'Don't Kill Anyone Today', both of which have wisely been released as singles. For wordplay, 'Stags of Schipol' recounts a journey around Amsterdam, moving from enlightenment to god-blasting fear, with a humour and artistry similar to that seen on The Velvet Underground's 'The Gift'. The best, however, is 'Stay Down Luke' an enigmatic and enthralling track with echoes of big beat to it. All four are essential listening. This album is definitely disquieting, it won't be digested easily, but when you're done with it I'm sure you'll have found it immensely enriching. Photobucket