Reviews: 12/17/2007

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Our Opinion… not that anyone really asked for it.
For the week of 12/17/2007

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WEEN – LA CUCARACHA (Rounder)
We will not lie: our first reaction to the latest Ween was pure confusion, perhaps in part because the title led us to believe at least a portion of the lyrical content was to be en Espanol. ‘Twas not the case. Neither was this the strangest thing about La Cucaracha. We have wracked our royal brains, tontitos, and found little to explain the bizarre mix of genres and lyrical styles. To jump, as it were, from, “She’s gonna be my cock professor, studyin’ my dick, she’s gonna get a master’s degree, in fuckin’ me” to, “Spirit walker, too much living on the fringe, why don’t you come in, and sample my love” gave us the – how do you say? Ah,yes – cognitive dissonance. In sum: while amusing from time to time (i.e. when charmingly anachronistic keyboard sounds are added in, apropos of nothing), this recording is deeply perplexing and vaguely insulting to the intellect. Perhaps we are too European to understand? And the Americans such as yourself will have no trouble with it? Excuse us while we retire with some smelling salts. – El Marquis de Nada

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BOB MOULD – DISTRICT LINE (Epitaph)

Sure, Husker Du ended a long time ago, and you can’t expect any mere human cannot make an album the likes of Zen Arcade twice in the same lifetime, but come the fuck on! Even Body of Song (his last solo record) had some okay tracks on it. This one is even more boring, and the vocals are just shit. Not only does Bob hit some just God-awful notes, but he waaaaaaaaaay overuses his vocal effects, and they actually tend to make the vocals sound even worse. In a way I feel really bad about hating this record so much. I mean, it’s Bob fucking Mould! Almost every other punk icon has been able to continue making music with at least some level of awesomeness. But this off-key, low-rate, acoustic college rock bullshit really makes me wonder if this is even the same dude from Husker Du. Maybe there was some weird mixup where there was another guy named……ah fuck it. – SpartaPraha

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BEACH HOUSE – DEVOTION (Carpark)

Is everyone not fed up with bands making “sonically ambitious” sophomore albums?  God knows it killed a handful of potentially awesome albums for me this year. Here is the antidote: Beach House has made a follow up album exactly like their first! I found this to be entirely comforting. For those unfamiliar, Beach House sounds like Painful-era Yo La Tengo with similar organ/drum machine/guitar arrangements.  If you’ve heard 30 seconds of one song, you’ve heard apparently all there is to hear. Call it the AC/DC Method. Call it leaps and bounds better than trying to make The Wall and ending up with Frances The Mute. Regardless, it’s refreshing to be able to rely on a band to deliver what is expected of them instead of being let down by a band going through their grandiose U2 phase.  That being said, this album’s reeeeeeally boring.  – Motown

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BOYS NOIZE – OI OI OI (Last Gang/Turbo Recordings)

There’s nothing I love more than a good dance beat.  There’s just something about that deep, heavy artificial bass that makes me want to party.  Maybe it’s a weakness. It really doesn’t matter if the music is garbage – my hips don’t care.

The album Oi Oi Oi by Boys Noize is a little reminiscent of Justice or early Daft punk – which is a good thing because I love both groups. But along with these similarities also come the faintest hint of boredom.  This album is pretty good, but there’s not much innovation to it.  Throughout the entire album is the same synthesizer effect – it’s almost like the whole album is one continuous song.  Which is fine in the right situation but not exactly my first choice to listen to on an average day.  But though this album lacks variety, I must say that Oi Oi Oi is pretty accessible compared to many other electronic albums of our time.

That said, there‘s a time and a place for this type of thing.  The time would be after midnight, and the place would be a hot sweaty dance club crammed with kids dressed up like a box of crayons. And it would be fucking awesome.  Any other scenario would be unacceptable and just plain awkward… unless there were robots involved (every rule has its exception)!  -Foxy Foursocks

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PLUM – VARIOUS ARTISTS (Thrill Jockey)

Fuck the nay-sayers who are too focused on perpetual motion to realize the
value of taking time in looking back.  Nothing’s more nostalgic then vinyl.
Nothing other than anniversaries and 15 years of independent rock, jazz, etc
solicit some well deserved vinyl and nostalgia both.  Consisting of a
stellar cast of of the renowned Chicago labelee’s covering each others work,
10 7″‘s make for a good time in any right.  Califone on Freakwater, Mouse on
Mars on The Sea and Cake, and perhaps my personal favorite of Dave Byrne
acting all freaky to the Fiery Furnaces – Plum is the must have gift for
that pretentious asshole friend that you’re always afraid to buy music for –
if they don’t like this, then they don’t know shit. – The Baffler

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