Fugazi - End
Currently inside my head Fugazi are having a fist fight with Mudhoney
for the title of my personal all time favourite band. Mudhoney have
an obvious weight advantage but Fugazi are meaner and leaner. And
Fugazi are more significant in 1998. Depending on how you look at
it, this is either Fugazi's 5th, 6th or 7th album. Attempts to compare
this to any of the previous will be a waste. That said the most recognisable
tracks as Fugazi are the storming Five Corporations (Fuck Corporations?)
and Caustic Acrostic. The initial three tracks grab your attention
tight. Opener, Break blasts off with psychotic drum patterns and hyperdirect
guitars, Guy's voice comes in, sounding a tad funny, signing off with
"on and on" ala Karate then Ian roars and Fugazi have opened their
stall. Place Position continues the trend, starting like a nitro Pretty
Vacant for the nineties. Mackaye bellows "yawn yawn yawn" as Guy states
"I can't stifle my boredom" and questions "so why not act your age".
Recap Modotti carries the record, as Joe adds another vocal style,
thats more tender than the previous. The song itself is tender, running
a constant threat to rocket but remaining subtle all the way through
to the climaxing diversions and Fugazi experimentations. A harsh change
of direction, which is to be expected from Fugazi now and again. My
interpretation of Closed Caption is of finding alienation and dissention
in scenes where everyone supposedly gets on. It seems scenes cannot
co-exist due to nature and individualism. Maybe its a song about sharing
a secret, a critical call of our music or maybe I'm missing the point.
There's a lengthy drum part at the close which isn't always there.
Following is the mesmerising, almost narcotic, Floating Boy. The song
floats through, screaming guitars grab the centre portion which then
break into a hardcore band seemingly replicating the sound of waves
crashing into the coast line, full stopping with incendiary guitar.
Foreman's Dog flows smoother seemingly concerned with dissatisfaction,
crap vocation and weak distraction. Arpeggiator is fully blown math
rock as performed by..... This isn't a well rounded record, its blunt
as fuck, as all the best ones are. If you're not a Fugazi fan now
this album is unlikely to make you one but if you are you'll be content
with this corruption. Definition as punk is an insult. Fuck, that
was a bit fanboy.
Shellac - Terraform
(Touch And Go)
A wait is always worth for a new Shellac record but sadly when they
do surface they do a great injustice to the world of alternative rock
showing almost everything being lauded up and wiping the floor with
their carcasses. Listening to this record is like listening to a person
being pushed to far which in turn reflects onto the listener. Restrained
and intense, it often gets so infuriating when things get pushed beyond
the edge. The lead track gave me RSI. Thank you fuck you Steve Albini.
I'll add by stating this is easily better than Action Park. This is
the band that is most tight. Bob Weston drags each song along as Albini
prepares to deal a blow, his voice sounding like a desperate wildman,
a much more sinister Iggy crossed with Steven Jesse Bernstein. Once
opener Didn't We Deserve A Look At You The Way You Really (seemingly
included just as a sheer sign of defiance) is out the way it kicks
it heals in hard. House Full Of Garbage climaxes well with me thanks
to its sinister tones and harsh observation/narration. The closer
sounds like an enormous Joy Division song. And you just know the thought
of people listening to this and scratching their heads is putting
a big sloppy grin on Steve Albini's snarling face.
The Jesus Lizard
- Blue (Crapitol)
A major in one sense I guess. Yow still has a cow and the band still
batter rock but there is just something wrongly big deal about this
record, taming it more than it ought to be tamed. There was always
a hard, sharp, minimal edge to previous outings which has now softened
with the addition of atmospherics and unwanted guitar parts. Gripe
over, I Can Learn gets the album started correctly with what we all
like. Play it loud and break something in your room once more. Yow
sadly now sounds more goofy than psychotic, more Gibby than Iggy.
Needles For Teeth sounds almost industrial. At times it plods, at
times it rocks. There is better, there is worse. The pants pictures
- Philophobia (Chemikal Underground)
Nice cover pervy, I got the piss took out of me for buying this. And
I guess I deserved it. My initial response is that this is not as
magic as The Week Never Starts by a long chalk but then again what
else have I bought in the past which sounded so right immediately.
They've laboured on this one I think, the access to additional resources
being overly evident. Their silence was once so loud. You'll laugh,
you'll cry, you'll think about SEX because that's an Arab Strap sitting
on your todger. Naturally the first favourites are the familiar (Soaps,
Here We Go, One Day...). New Birds stands out and Afterwards sees
some nice duet action. Its still early days so it still needs time
to grow. You know what to expect. Only now its longer. If Arab Strap
was a weather forecast it would be pissing down.
- Lapsed (Matador)
The case says space rock. Who knew. I'm into this from the start,
the most bleary but hardest guitar sound in history lifts it off.
It has blown my stereo speakers (FACT!). Its absolutely a noise thing,
who wants to listen to harmonies, hooks or even vocals all the time.
Of course you find yourself drifting away, in one direction or another
but here we're not dealing with one specific fodder. The best is left
to the finale with the epic Aldrin that builds into a cauldron of
the hottest sonic soup.
Kiss - Everyday Everyman (Wide Records via Southern)
This sounds like math and emo to me. From Italy. The name originates
from a censorship code in American movies from the 40's, whereby on
screen kisses could last no longer than.... I love bands like this,
that make everything, every aspect, sound difficult and integral.
Stark in both the English and the German sense of the word, this is
a controlled record
TNT (City Slang)
I've kind of avoided Tortoise and most things post rock. This sounds
obviously like Aerial M to me and others, except with much more going
on. It sadly also fails to touch as many nerves with me but whatever
I'm lost in music I've heard described as Tesco music. The opening
has a jazzy feel and the second track Ten Day Interval proves to be
the highlight as it trundles along deliciously just before the fattest,
most levelling hook anywhere on this record. Machine drums appear
towards the end giving it an almost dance flavour at that point and
making it the most interesting portion of the album, worthy of the
- Spontane Time (Old Eagle Recordings)
Here is a funny proposition, I could swear at times it was Dawn Of
The Replicants and then it switches to a different genre. This is
flappy (read energetic) rock n roll with a 90's twist like Soulbossa
with early Fall influenced tuneage. There's some surf, some fuzz but
surprisingly zero pseudo punk. Imagine a Top 40 Blues Explosion on
downers, for starters, that isn't terrible. There's fun to be had
Various - Where
You're Going..... (Grand Royal)
This is the Grand Royal sampler and its essential. And that's no exaggeration
at only £3.99. B-Boys x 2 mix with, surprisingly, amazing tracks from
Buffalo Daughter, Luscious Jackson, Kostars, Butter 08 and the Josephine
Wiggs Experience. Gimp boy Ben Lee worries as his songs (both solo
and Noise Addict) I find both catchy. Burp. The exclusion of GR signees
Bis and Atari Teenage Riot sucks but nevermind. See you soon.
Various - The
Virus That Wouldn't Die (Alternative Tentacles)
One of the best labels in history release a brand new sampler that
includes Wesley Willis performing the Chicken Cow and The Dicks doing
Hate The Police in addition to the anti-career/vocation song by Dead
Kennedys, Life Sentence. Other compilations lack anything nearing
this. Elsewhere Mumba Abu-Jamal's A Bright Shining Hell is horrific
and amazing. Such artists make AT more than just another punk label
and illustrate where Biafra's heads still at.
Various - Snakebite
City Seven (Bluefire)
Nearly every band here is new wave. Bad. Travis Cut do the best track
Various - Abuse
Your Friends (Abuse)
By buying them this CD.