Much ado - okay, a moderate, respectable amount of ado - was made about Ashtabulas debut LP River of Many Dead Fish. A mere side project for Bob Malloy, according to the conventional wisdom, it allowed the remaining members of the Strapping Fieldhands to restock their dwindling supply of owl tonic and to gas up the skiffle barge in the port of limbo. There may well be a kernel of truth in that posit, but now we have a second Ashtabula release, and there hasnt been a collection of new Fieldhands recordings since-جø¬-? well, the last one. They say owl tonic isnt so easy to get nowadays, and a barge aint exactly a canoe, either.Correct us if were wrong, but we believe it was the legendary 60s imagemaker Jake Witsen who said, Give me intestinal fortitude over verisimilitude any day, cause I want a band with blood and guts, not a group of bleepin nuts." Good on yer, Jake ol boy, you said a mouthful there. But the Witsenian guts on Possible Smokestacks might better be spelled p-l-u-c-k. Lots of pluck. As with outfits within the Elephant 6 collective, theres a ubiquity about it as well (Brobdignagian in this case, as opposed to E6s Lilliputian, lets set the record straight).Smokestacks takes in everything from the glimmer of 60s psychedelic Britpop (a la the UK Kaleidoscope) to a bizarro-world cross between Remake/Remodel-era Roxy Music and Dub Housing-era Pere Ubu, to the Edgar Broughton Band and Hawkwind (setting ears on fire in a tent on the Glastonbury plains). An appearance by a German chanteuse on one track sways somewhere between Nico and Lotte Lenya (but for gods sake, dont go blabbing to Boyd Rice). This album is, as they are wont to say in Magnet, "all over the place." It might make you cry, it might make you sweat, but itll definitely make you moist. And in these frigid times, kingpin, isnt leaving ones glands to the mercy of people like Bob Malloy what its all about?"