Friday, September 19, 2008

Short, rushed and enthusiastic…two from PW

Reviewing stuff for Philadelphia Weekly is a lot of fun. You pitch records on Wednesday or Thursday, find out Friday if you got any of them, and then spend Friday evening and Saturday trying to get the damn downloads, and Sunday trying to have some sort of opinion on them…by Monday, you’re on the hook for 100 words each, and by Monday night it’s over like it never happened. And, weirdly, the people who bug you about reviewing their records are completely satisfied with this. They even seem to prefer PW reviews to the long, hard-thought-over, 700-1000 word opuses that go into Dusted or PopMatters.

Did I mention I get paid for these?

Strange world, but entertaining…anyway, here are two from this week’s PW. Tomorrow, with any luck, the whole thing starts again.

Blitzen Trapper

Furr (Sub Pop)

Rating: Excellent, like John Oates’ mustache.

Lots of ideas, not much cohesiveness. That’s been the knock on Blitzen Trapper for their first three albums, but with Furr this Portland-based pop-country-jam outfit has KO’d the carpers. From the organ-heavy falsetto-crooning Beatles pop of “Sleepytime in the Western World” through the Grateful Dead shuffle of “Black River Killer” through the surprisingly spare, affecting “Lady on the Water,” Furr packs surprises but not oddities, interesting byways but not pointless wanderings. It’s an album this time, not a collection of hare-brained experiments. Furr transforms Blitzen Trapper’s promise into payoff. (Jennifer Kelly)


Why Are We Not Perfect? (Hydrahead)

Rating: Excellent, like John Oates’ mustache.

After inventing grindcore with Napalm Death and setting metal on its studded ear with Godflesh, Justin Broadrick has lately taken a turn toward serenity. Here’s more of the beautiful, fuzz-coated noise he explored in Conqueror, though paced this time by a drum machine rather than an ex-Swan. The title track balances the clarity of keyboards and synthetic percussion against a weighty mass of blurred distortion. Obsessives already have two of these tracks from Jesu’s vinyl only split with Eluvium, but not the alternate takes. Of them “Farewell” reveals the greatest depth. (J.K.)

A video


Syd The Squid said...

Jen, i fucking love the description of how these are written... Mxxx

jenniferpkelly said...

Thanks Michael, that means a lot.