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Review: Rasputina, Great American Gingerbread

Rasputina
Great American Gingerbread
Filthy Bonnet FB 3007

Rasputina is a New York-based trio led by singer-songwriter/cellist Melora Creager. Her main claim to fame is having played with Nirvana on the group’s final tour, but her group’s albums have also brought her a certain amount of acclaim. Rasputina’s eighth album is a mixed bag of loose ends, demos, and film music subtitled Rasputina Rarities & Neglected Items, which is a way of saying that this album may be more for fans than for people wanting to check out the group for the first time. The tracks, which date from 1997 to 2007 and often reflect a neo-punk sensibility, include several compelling instrumental compositions recorded for films and a demo of a cover of The Pretenders’ cover of Ray Davies’s “I Go to Sleep,” another album highlight. The album as a whole, however, is variable in quality.

Rasputina’s vocals are an acquired taste, as are some of the songs, but the concept of a rock cello trio accompanied by a drummer is an interesting one. A separate DVD of a concert at the Knitting Factory is not only a value-added feature but the performance, interspersed with brief interaction with members of the audience, reveals how masterful the three cellists really are.

—Paul E. Comeau (Comeauville, NS, Canada)

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