The Canadian trio BADBADNOTGOOD return to give us another dose of mad, virtuosic jazz jams covering the likes of James Blake, Kanye West, Gucci Mane, Odd Future (obviously) and to my surprise even My Bloody Valentine. The group has been gaining a hefty amount of support since posting ‘The Odd Future Sessions’ on Youtube just over a year ago and have seriously stepped up to the challenge of following their phenomenal debut, BBNG.

The opening track, a cover of Earl Sweatshirt’s ‘Earl’, is the shortest but easily the most intense track on the album. The crisp hip-hop snares are still there but the bass is unlike anything heard on a BBNG release up until now; morphing into a distorted and modulated colossus. Leland Whitty does a superb job on sax though I prefer his more laid back, cool jazz styled riffs on one of the original compositions on the album ‘UWM’. The other Odd Future cover on this release, ‘Bastard’, isn’t as outstanding, with the band not adding a great deal that the original didn’t already have. In the same way the cover of the great ‘You Made Me Realize’ by My Bloody Valentine adds very little to the mix not covered in the original, apart from a sub-par guitar solo.

A highlight of this album is easily the band’s cover of James Blake’s ‘CMYK’. The interplay of these musicians is palpable, with Chester Stone Hansen’s staccato bass chords rolling over the familiar melodic twinkle of the original played with sensitivity on keys by Matt Tavares. Drummer Alex Sowinski gives it his all in the song’s climatic end with some furiously fast and disorientating beats.

The originals stand up well next to the covers. Songs like ‘Rotten Decay’ and ‘DMZ’ really show off the musicians’ skill and intuition with each other. In these tracks they never really stay in one tempo for too long but no one steps a toe out of line. One original ‘CHSTR’ is reminiscent of something an electronic producer like SBTRKT or Lapalux would do.

The reason BBNG2 prevails so greatly over its predecessor is because of diversity of the sounds. While on their previous efforts the keys tended to use the same sound the whole way through, here they vary from the faux-violin found on the band’s cover of Kanye’s ‘Flashing Lights’ to the wobbly synth lines of ‘CHSTR’. The production and mastering is superb, making it difficult to believe the hour long album was produced wholly by the band. What’s even more difficult to believe this album was recorded in one 10 hour session with each song taking a maximum of two takes to get each track to completion; a true testament to the bands extreme skill.

Obviously jazz covers are in vogue at the moment. For example, The Bad Plus’ attempt at ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ or Christian Scott’s amiable version of Thom Yorke’s ‘The Eraser’ but no one in jazz at the moment can compare the exciting sounds this Canadian trio produce. Even if you are not a fan of jazz I strongly suggest you give this album a try, it may just change your mind about jazz in general.