Album review – Jah Wobble & Keith Levene: Yin & Yang

I’ve probably promoted recent projects of the Public Image Ltd. tree more than necessary here, but I can’t help it. These old boys don’t get the press they used to.

This summer Jah Wobble teamed up with his old band mate Keith Levene to give us a 4-track EP of what could’ve been with John Lydon singing over it. It was good. It was short, sweet, noisy and distorted. It left a signature impression, so I was looking forward to getting the full thing.

If you already purchased EP, particularly digitally, you might as well buy the other 6 tracks as separate downloads as you’ll save a few pounds that way – I assume that was by design given that the total of all tracks is hardly reduced as a whole download – though you might be wise buying from the same store. Buying from Amazon and iTunes has resulted in some volume disparity.

Anyway, it turns out the best wasn’t just on EP, although I think two of my favourite tracks overall are on that.

The name Yin & Yang is fitting as Wobble plays like his personality; solid, no nonsense and deep, while his guitar playing counterpart sounds unstable, in a good way, and that seems to have echoed his life, in a reverse way.
Wobble speak-sings at times, Levene interjects some chorus vocals, and all the while the wiry guitars and thick bass are either testing the limits of your hearing or providing you with musical surprises like the funky Fluid (my favourite ‘new’ track). There are a couple of fillers but they work as a nice bit of musical glue.

The biggest surprise is towards the end when we hear what has to be a great impersonator. I was fooled for a few seconds but he’s a few percent short of authentic; and well, let’s say it’s admirable and makes you smile, because if your sound roles are going to be aped in another band you may as well cheekily repay the compliment.

A very fine album if you like something a bit edgy and extraordinary. A must for vintage PiL fans and of the individual artists.


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