:: Thursday, May 25, 2006
THE SOUND OF ONE HAND CLAPPING
hiya peeps and welcome to another selection of mindless CD reviews.. where I cut thru all the hyperbola and bullshit each and every week to bring you my misguided opinions on a whole range of CD's.. from the sublime to the downright stupid.. why? coz fuckit.. how else am I to waste my time during the off hours of the week? ;)
PEARL JAM - SELF TITLED
in brief: scruffy dog rock
rating: 3.5 / 5
aaaaah PEARL JAM.. way back in the day you used to be the shit.. back in the early to mid 90's, all the misfit fucked up kiddies loved ya.. you were the freakin' ducks nuts maaaaan.. all hairy, pissed off and passionate about deeply felt social issues.. you railed against the establishment.. you gave mass media the finger and vowed never to sell out.. and sure.. all the cool kids may've been into NIRVANA, STONE TEMPLE PILOTS, ALICE IN CHAINS and SOUNDGARDEN instead, wot with their fashionably super cool drug addictions and self destructive ways.. but really, where are they now maaaaan? dead, in and out've rehab and moonlighting in crap supergroups that's wot.. yeaaah.. fuck them.. stick with good 'ol reliable PEARL JAM.. sure they're a bit whitebread and overly earnest.. but, they'll show us the way.. and for a decade or so they kept on rocking.. album after album of ever reliable howling and dirty "alternative" rock to inspire generations of middle class suburban kids to give the establisment the finger and feel all morally superior n shit.. just like U2 did for the kids back in the 80's..
but with reliability, soon grew contempt, and then boredom.. and before barely a decade had passed, PEARL JAM were reduced to nothing more than grizzled rockingchair AM radio fodder set for the retirement village as their gigs moved on from the moshpit to the sitdown gig and polite applause.. so after 2 albums and 6 years or so of this wallpaper muzak.. here comes another album.. and just when you thought it'd be more of the same, just when you're about to dismiss it all.. comes the shocking realisation that not only does this NOT suck.. but it actually ROCKS a whole damn lot.. yup.. wow, who'dathunkit!? there's still life in this band yet!
I mean sure, lets not escape the fact that these dudes still sound old.. everything here is grizzled, shambolic, pissed off and disillusioned.. full of fuzzy jangling riffs, gravelly throats, fraying edges with an absolute mess of dirty production.. but there's also a real aggression and urgency found here that's been lacking in all their other recent albums as it brings forth some serious garage rocking raw rage.. sounding like they've just spent the entire night out drinking and now they're spilling throught the front door with instruments in tow, screaming and mumbling, staggering and swinging a whisky bottle wildly, spilling junk everywhere they go before collapsing in an emotional heap on the floor..
sure.. it's not the cleanest of sounds.. it's scruffy as all fuck.. and it might disappoint those wanting a bit of epic stadium rock "pro-tools" polish.. and yet, this raw'ness really captures PEARL JAM at their best.. jamming out howling anthems of love, loss and regret.. so, welcome back PEARL JAM.. we knew you had at least one more decent album left in ya :)
highlights - WORLD WIDE SUICIDE, COMATOSE, MARKER IN THE SAND, INSIDE JOB
CUT COPY - BRIGHT LIKE NEON LOVE
in brief: 5AM vocoder comedown grooves
rating: 4.5 / 5
here's the perfect soundtrack for the end of a messy night on the dancefloor as the place is starting to empty out.. last drinks are called.. the lights are switching on.. and all the drunks and pillmunchers are shuffled outside to waiting taxi's and paramedics.. mixing the robotic vocoder sounds of DAFT PUNK, the dancefloor disco grooves of PNAU, the lighter and happier moments of THE CURE with the more relaxing cruising beats of AIR.. making for a very cool and collective flowing dancefloor filler for the 5AM sunrise set..
it's a very relaxed, easily accessible and endlessly cruisy, with a casual disregard for all the usual pretension and arty cool that is usually inherant in most of the dancefloor grooves of this ouvre (see the MINISTRY OF SOUND - CHILLOUT compilations for such examples of wanky'ness).. here, it is much more organic.. mixing up chunky smooth bass, swinging and sliding filtered guitars, bleeping cascade synths and spongy soft pounding bass beats in a hybrid electronic / live band feel.. like it's KRAFTWERK doped heavily on a happy mix of PROZAC and VALIUM.. pure chillout bliss.. get it now!
highlights: TIME STANDS STILL, FUTURE, SATURDAYS, THAT WAS JUST A DREAM, THE TWILIGHT
TEST ICICLES - FOR SCREENING PURPOSES ONLY
in brief: shredding death dancepunk
rating: 4 / 5
listening to TEST ICICLES is somewhat like experiencing a frankenstein monster whilst it's all goofed up on a violent mix of adrenaline, angel dust and crystal meth beating the living shit out've a kitchen draw full of cooking utensils whilst the whole thing is recorded by a series of microphones magnified by a public broadcast system set to screaming point.. it's a monster stitched together from all sorts of bizarre odds and ends.. the high speed schitzoid feels of a band like SYSTEM OF A DOWN, the dancing of knives punk mania of THE HIVES, the cheery britpop harmonies of oldskool BLUR all stuffed into a tiny room, un-armed whilst it faces off with the ATARI TEENAGE RIOT, SLAYER, APHEX TWIN and a pack of drunken skate kids smashing up letterboxes..
on one hand it'll push you to the extremes of ear bleeding screaming noise and then switch on a dime to the kinda shredding funk groove that'll have the kids pogo'ing themselves to a flailing and thrashing bloody pulp on the dancefloor.. this stuff is pure anarchistic fight music, it's the worst possible act of mischief.. and it'll downright fuck you up good n proper.. and yet, just when the insanity gets to be too much, it gives you something so damn infectious.. you can't help but like it..
there's a real sense of murderous glee here.. all loud and crazy and anarchic.. like all the best moments of self destruction back when you were a teenager and you just wanted to see how much you could fuck yourself rotten to the point of being violently ill only to do it all again the next weekend.. it all sounds like pure innocent fun.. but the sort've fun that could get you really really hurt..
it's the sorta album will likely scare most people that listen to it, wot with it's gnashing trashing guitars, spastic knife spinning beats, screaming raw vocals, constant switch overs and bizarre electro flourishes.. and in large doses it'd more than likely send you to the loony bin.. and yet, you can't help but admire the insanity of it, the pure experimentalism, the raw enthusiasm.. it's so damn psychotically infectious it makes you wanna join in on the rampaging vandalism for y'self.. so, if you wanna try something truly pushing the envelope of the insane.. give this a spin.. you might just like it :)
standout songs - BOA vs PYTHON, CIRCLE SQUARE TRIANGLE, MAINTAIN THE FOCUS, ALL YOU NEED IS BLOOD, DANCING ON PEGS
well.. that's it for another week..
comments? complaints? song suggestions?
:: Spoz 11:53 PM |