Weekly Capsule Reviews: 09/07/2017


This week: Algiers, Actress, Jlin, King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, Pharmakon

Classics: Pixies, Talking Heads

Algiers: The Underside of Power [Matador, 23/06/2017]

In this differing approach to subverting post-punk by the mostly-Atlanta, Georgia industrial group, Franklin James Fisher and band lay out this not-so-gospel as much as is possibly overwrought to hide its very essence from the bounds of “post-punk revival” (it’s used a lot that term). But Fisher’s ethnic background, especially being from the “confines” of the Deep South, legitimises this piece insofar as it’s “modern” protest music with the music coming first—nearly always a good idea. The grainy production is a boon as we’re not surfeited as much as they might think with the violent and/or death imagery, violent and/or death situations, and violence in love and love lost. Very little on peace, mind. (8/10)

Actress: AZD [Ninja Tune, 14/04/2017]

Is there any way to refrain from using the word “futuristic” when constructing a review of this sort? No? Okay… (6/10)

Jlin: Black Origami [Planet Mu, 19/05/2017]

I could hear the Africanised beats in there from the get-go and Jerrilynn Patton’s affiliation to “footwork” is a testament to her knowledge of where the origins of her craft originated. (6/10)

King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard: Murder of the Universe [Flightless/Heavenly, 23/06/2017]

Not as pretentious as one might comprehend and only as paranoid as their made-up characters are. These characters are an “altered beast”, a Balrog, and a cyborg that aspires to vomit one day. The monologues do just enough to gain respite in between the monotony of the repetitive bars, the subject matter, and the words (even when they’re from the gob of the cyborg). (6/10)

Pharmakon: Contact [Sacred Bones, 31/03/2017]

Noise as catharsis is the general observation, noise as noise is my observation. Plenty of chinks of cacophonous screeching but very little in the way of potential chinks of light creeping through. Well, it wouldn’t be “cathartic” otherwise would it?! (5/10)


Pixies: Doolittle [4AD, 17/04/1989]

Actually, you could argue it’s more “musical” than Bossanova (ignore my fucked-up ordering of reviewing records, if you so will), but it’s actually just as (I’ll take Bossanova, though, thank you very much). Where that next record would see a flood of high-riffed surf-rock and louder, this takes the same themes and turns down the volume [intermittently] and love [intermittently]. “Here Comes Your Man” exemplifies the turned-down volume bit and “Tame” exemplifies the turned-down love bit. But Pixies pack(ed) a punch, which is why I’m more attracted to “Tame” over “Here Comes Your Man”. Not by much, and maybe not always. (8/10)

Talking Heads: Talking Heads: 77 [Sire/Philips, 16/09/1977]

One word: confusion. Is it punk? Yes, preppy, polished punk. Is that punk? Yeah, why not? Talking Heads gives to us the archetypal feel of the twenty-something—confused and dazed, content and uninterested; then confused and intrigued with right-and-wrong decisions. It’s punk less the outer anger; it’s The Velvet Underground less the anti-everything, just anti-somethings. We’ll call it “new wave”. I’ve always thought of David Byrne’s lyrics as mumbo jumbo rants of a schizophrenic, but there’s meaning. He may be embarrassed to convey with a weird twitch or yelp to cover-up how he feels, but it’s there—”I’m spinning around and I feel all right/The book I read was in your eyes”. It’s up and down, happy, sad, confused, decisive, indecisive, not caring, caring. “Tentative Decisions”—boys want to talk about their problems, girls want to listen; then a transition where girls have problems and boys are concerned. “Every appointment has been moved to last week”—is he losing interest? Does he care any longer?: “This report’s incomplete (I can see for myself)”. “Psycho Killer”, one of the band’s most decorated singles, has Byrne exclaiming he actually does care wherein he’s back as the dazed, psychotic youth with a yearning for an ideal world—”I hate people when they’re not polite”. He states in “Don’t Worry About the Government”, “Don’t worry about me”—but I’m concerned about you, David, I must admit. But wait for it; we’re finally there with “Pulled Up”. He’s happy with his lot. We realised he was down, but there’s hope—”I was complaining, I was down in the dumps/I feel so strong now ’cause you pulled me up”. Who’s “you”? Beats me. The listener? The other band members? This debut is erratic bewilderment. What’s all the contradicting confusion about? Answer: life. There’s hope, though. Was all that confusing? (8/10)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s