Jamie Clarke's Perfect Nobody is Perfect

Just when Celtic rock seemed to be wallowing in an existential crisis, along comes Pogues' guitarist Jamie Clarke with a freshen-upper. Clarke wisely draws half of his material from the same grimy pub floors and whiskey barrels of his former band but branches off admirably to reinvent himself with hellfire polkas and Balkan bop. It takes a pretty damn hip musician to make the accordion sound insanely cool, and Perfect's Predrag Zaric plays the thing like a mad hatter, most noticeably on a slightly psychedelic "Hungarian Dance." Walter Ostanek, hold onto your Grammys. Clarke roguishly attacks the likes of the Flamin' Groovies ("Shake Some Action"), the Kinks ("Sunny Afternoon") and even the Pogues, injecting new venom into "Turkish Song of the Damned" with his own half-tanked version called "Turkish." He proves himself a good writer too, contributing half of the record's tracks. A good album to hoist a pint to. (SPV)