The Jojo Burger Tempest is the new album from the UK’s finest electronic post-rock band Working For A Nuclear Free City, the follow-up to 2007’s Businessmen & Ghosts. And like that expansive debut, The Jojo Burger Tempest takes place across two discs, with 15 tracks on one and the 30-minute title track on the other.
Everything about the album is epic. It was recorded over a period of 18 months in two distinctly different locations: a warehouse in the north of England and an isolated cottage in France. Over that period, the band laid down a few ideas a day and amassed some 2800 song ideas, despite claiming to suffer from writer’s block.
“We made so many different tracks that for the listener to understand the last year of our creativity 10 tracks just isn’t enough,” says guitarist Gary. “I think that like it used to be, an album should be a document of what a band has been doing over a certain period of time. And almost everything should be included. Like it or not.”
The longform track on CD2 was created in a single day using ideas that had found no home elsewhere on the album, like DVD extras reworked into a new piece of art. Says Phil: “I’d always liked the idea of doing a mix-tape kind of track like Q-Bert, Shadow, Yoda, people like that, used to do with their mix tapes. It’s not meant to be a prog rock tune, more of a collage. It was really fun way to work and felt like we were really doing something different.”
Working For A Nuclear Free City formed around brothers Phil and Jon Kay and schoolfriend Gary McLure. Ed Hulme joined two days before the band’s first gig, cementing an unconventional line-up that doesn’t always have a singer, though Phil takes the majority of the vocals.
Their relatively low profile at home masks considerable US success. Having endured American tours so long and arduous that Gary was rushed to hospital in Texas and left minus three feet of intestines, the band were lauded by taste-making radio stations and blogs and nominated for 2007s Shortlist Prize (America’s Mercury Music Prize equivalent) alongside M.I.A., Feist, Wilco and Arcade Fire.
At home, the band’s music has been licenced all over the shop, from the trailer to the latest Paul Greengrass / Matt Damon film ‘Green Zone’ to Playstation 3’s ‘ ‘Infamous’.
Understandably, anticipation for this next album is high. But one question remains: what, exactly, is the Jojo Burger Tempest? “We were making so many songs that we just started saving them on the comp under stupid names, and this was one of the song names. The album was almost called Mrs Fuzzlekins Rides Again.