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Boomkat Product Review:
JOMF's tenth studio album, Ballads Of The Revolution is brilliantly poised in its capturing of the band's Americana otherness. So many of the veteran group's finest attributes are condensed here: their ethereal country tendencies, those prolonged Deadhead meanderings and in the sublime closing track 'A Mania' you get to hear them exercising their more traditional songwriting prowess. From the outset Ballads Of The Revolution shows signs of being a fairly special entry into the Jackie O MoFo discography, marking its beginnings with a shimmering, echo-lined arrangement of the traditional ballad 'Nightingale' before on 'Dark Falcon' moving into the kind of jumbled improv sound-shaping the band have become famed for, blending sweetly intoned vocals with free-country waves of noise, sample manipulation and surreal slide guitar gestures. Presenting one of the most unusual instances on the album, 'The Corner' is an oddly minimal affair, rich in atmosphere and occasional dubbed out wah-wah pulsations whilst turntablist movements interfere with Tom Greenwood's sleepwalking vocals. Ballads Of The Revolution does a great job of balancing this great band's experimental side with its more structured leanings toward traditional American folk musics, and because of that surely ranks among the most essential of all JOMF's albums.