Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Negasonic Teenage Warhead

I try to stay positive, and I specifically avoid simple negative reviews because A) they're too easy. Tearing something apart is the natural order of things. B) apart from telling you that I don't think you should spend your money ( a dubious authority, there), what good does a negative review do? and C) On the off chance that somebody takes what I say seriously, I could curtail the career of someone with value. All that having said, negative reviews can be a lot of fun, if you don't take them too seriously. So, in that spirit here's a few:
Against Me!- White Crosses : Mike Peters called. He still has his haircut, and he'd like his sound back for his 40th anniversary tour.
The Decembrists- The King is Dead : Well, much like the Osprey, the Pinto, and emetics it performs exactly as it was designed; badly. Here's the idea on paper- a bunch librarianesque nerds condescend to play Country. The execution? Ever heard your college English professor sing? Yeah. This thing is just as much of a disaster as you might imagine it to be. Amazon wants to sell it to you with the new Iron & Wine, and Amos Lee CDs. I want the names of people who bought that package so I can avoid them.
Destroyer-Kaputt : I wonder sometimes. I mean, I can get behind some easy listening for kitschy reasons, and I can even understand how some folks are masters regardless of genre- Burt Bacharach is a really good songwriter, even if I can't always appreciate his songs. But who listens to a Kenny G record and says that's excellent, I want an indie rock version of that! I want underproduced smooth Jazz! I want the quiet storm to be mixed with Tape hiss! On top of that foundation, then, destroyer adds a hearty dose of the more laughable excesses of the New Wave pop sound. Then, the whole thing is overlaid with irony, so as to excuse it as "Lol/Jk". That just makes it a seven layer burrito of bad for me. See, the response that Dan Bejar wants is for me to play this turd for my friends, and then laugh while my friends wince. I'd prefer to play punk rock versions of gospel hymns and watch my friends wince at actually liking stuff they thought they hated. See how that changes things? The irony is that bad things can be made good, not that bad things are bad. That's just masochism.
Bob Mould- Life and Times : I've stayed pretty safe so far. If you read this blog at all, you're probably pretty much not interested in the Decembrists, anyway. Now, I'm cutting a bit closer to home. Bob Mould. St Bob. The guy who invented Alt-rock, and who spearheaded the return of accoustic solo performances. One third of Husker Du, which makes him pretty much the Lou Reed of the Hardcore nation (yes, that makes Grant Hart John Cale). I can hear people saying 'tread lightly grasshopper' already. On top of that, this is a year-old release. Doesn't matter to me. I still own every record the man put out, and yes they do vary in quality. I never hated a Bob Mould record enough to ditch it, until this one. I even like some of the Modulation and Loudbomb dance tracks. So, what broke? Maybe it's the Hootie-esque "tasteful' guitars. Maybe it's the Pete Townshend self-pity at maturation ( it's ok to get old. It's ok to have some self pity. It's not OK to have self-pity because you've finally accepted the reality that you're just going to get older). Maybe it's that I do really hate the straight use of Auto Tune (When Kanye does it as an effect, and even riffs out solos on it, it's pretty awesome. When Bob Mould does it because he cannot hit the notes anymore because his voice is shot, it's lame enough to give me a headache) I think it's because this is a Bob Mould record that is tailor made for the NPR "adult contemporary' market. As in- this is a straight business move sidling up to the demographic. This is rebranding- and the culmination will be the autobiographical book tour. I know Bob's shooting for Biopic, but he's too niche.
The Walkmen- Lisbon : No. Just No. No,no,no,no,no,no,no,NO,NO,NO! WRONG! Turn that crap off. Thank you.


  1. Steve, I published your comment. But, I don't talk about religion, here, and keep my beliefs offline. Sorry if that offends.