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When Alan Vega compliments Alex Chilton halfway through the relentless nine-minute chug of ‘Fat City’ (“Cool, Alex!”), you can hear sincerity and surprise in his voice. ‘Cubist Blues’ is littered with candid moments like this – the hour-long album is the sound of three musicians refusing to accept that there could be such a thing as a bad idea.

With Big Star’s Chilton and Ben Vaughn (a sometime Jonathan Richman-alike, who currently makes a living scoring TV shows) switching between drums, piano and guitar, the only real constant presence is Vega, who does what he does best: be Alan Vega, rockabilly shaman/showman extraordinaire. The pace rarely lets up, though the crawling synth-led ‘Freedom’ – ‘Unchained Melody’ reimagined as David Lynch soundtrack material – may be the best thing here.

As ever, Light In The Attic have done a great job of rescuing an obscurity like this – three cult icons improvising over a marathon two-day session – and giving it the respect it deserves. The title, though, is a misnomer. The notion of ‘Cubist Blues’ calls to mind Beefheart at his most, well, Beefhearty. Improvised over two days in 1994 during a pair of marathon sessions, the record is closer in spirit to bebop in its free, sprawling unpredictability. If that sounds off-putting, just think of it as a more rock and roll Suicide.

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