Short-Staffed at the Gene Pool

With Short-Staffed at the Gene Pool, the long-awaited follow-up to 1995's fine debut Salt Peter, former Silverfish front woman Lesley Rankine revives her Ruby persona.

With Short-Staffed at the Gene Pool, the long-awaited follow-up to 1995's fine debut Salt Peter, former Silverfish front woman Lesley Rankine revives her Ruby persona. Like last time, Rankine teams up with producer Mark Walk; unlike last time, she's now signed to Thirsty Ear (as opposed to Creation/Work). Following the trip-hop-fueled foundation of its predecessor, Short-Staffed delves further into the compelling electronic left field with a visceral, diverse collection of songs. Highlights include the mechanistic seductions of "Beefheart," the funky soul-pop grooves of first single "Grace," the sly "Waterside," and the hazy, jazz-inflected "Lamplight." Throughout, Rankine has created an enveloping and intentionally minimalist album poised to delight fans of artists like Hooverphonic, Moloko, and Recoil (aka former Depeche Mode keyboardist Alan Wilder).—CR

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