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Ma Polaine's Great Decline - Got Me Out of Hell

  by Adrian Huggins

published: 4 / 5 / 2015

Ma Polaine's Great Decline - Got Me Out of Hell
Label: Ma Polaine's Great Decline
Format: CD


Entertaining and playful old-school jazz on debut album from London-based act, Ma Polaine’s Great Decline

Beth Packer (vocal, harmonica and accordion) and Clinton Hough (guitar) are the main creative forces behind Ma Polaine’s Great Decline. They are joined at points by Chris Calvo (double bass) and John Gillies (saxophone), and also producer Nick Rye, who dives in from time to time with piano and percussive parts. Between them they create a very traditional, almost old -fashioned style of jazz. Formed in 2011 the founding members cut their teeth around London on the jazz and folk scenes, releasing two EPs prior to 'Got Me Out of Hell' which is their first full-length album. While the group would shudder at such modern comparisons, I heard, much to my enjoyment, shades of Amy Winehouse and Regina Spektor within ‘Got Me Out of Hell’. At times ‘Got Me Out Of Hell’ has a quirky feel to it, songs such as ‘My Only Friend’ and ‘Dark Rum by Moonlight’ having sea shanty-inspired themes. There are other more gentle moments such as ‘Numb’ and the breathtaking, melancholic and gorgeous ‘Small Town’ on which Packer’s vocals really shine through. ‘The Dregs’ is a great blues-meets-swing number which adds to the album’s more upbeat feel, and ‘Devil’s Frying Pan’ is another moment of playfulness moving from the danceable back into a slow jazz drawl. Ma Polaine’s Great Decline make some really fun and entertaining music that harks back to some of the formative and most important eras of music. There’s enough variation though within the album to keep it fresh at each turn, but they have created their own sound wonderfully.

Track Listing:-
1 Blow Your Horn
2 My Only Friend
3 Small Town
4 You Got Me Out of Hell
5 Dark Rum By Moonlight
6 No Words We Need
7 The Dregs
8 Numb
9 The Devil's Frying Pan

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