Note:This is a rewrite of my early 5/5 review
I used to stick up for this album. I used to exclaim about the amounts of noise and emotion and black reality blah blah blah. I used to listen to this I think "Wow! This is neat!" and laugh at how advanced I thought my musical tastes were, and how much of a musical outsider I thought I was. All it was a simple piece of innocence and misunderstanding of what was sophisticated and what was cool and what not.
Now I think I have a better understanding of the record. It's pretty much an noise experiment done by the heavily drug addicted Lou Reed. He used recording techniques to record layers upon layers of guitar distortion and feedback, which created various shrieks and squeals over the enormous walls of sound. Ehh, sounds like fun, huh?
The album is an good way to blow off steam with, and surprisingly, to blow steam off with. All the masses of noise and squeals definitely pushes all the bad feelings out of your brain after a bad day, and when you're waking up, the overall chaos perfectly suites the fuzzy feelings, and wandering state that you're in.
A big problem, and one of the reasons the overall point, and body of the record fails, is it's length. Two side's worth of horrendous noise is quite an earful-actually one side is good enough, but two discs worth is pushing out the envelope and then some. Listening to the entire record all the way through is a pretty painful experience. By the beginning of the second disc, I was staring intently at the CD player, waiting for it to crack and explode and to take me out of this misery. The Horrendous noise was overtly bearing on me, and when I finally finished listening to it, I had a massive headache.
It was funny how only about ten minutes earlier, I was having quite a daydream while listening to the record. The earlier part of the album has that effect. It seems
like all the noise coming through the speakers scatters your brain into different ideas that unite and form quit an interesting dream. These two differing ideas might make one think that the album's beginning and ending are different. Don't think that. The only reason the two discs have different effects is that your mind is fresh at the beginning of the album, and all this noise is something different and interesting. But by the end, it's same old, same old.
The records biggest importance is probably it's influence. Various noise records have come out over the years that certainly have roots in MMM, but expand with greater direction, and overall push. People like Rhys Chatham, and Glenn Branca have taken Reed's fundamental use of guitars in a noise sense, but pushed it into orchestration. In fact, Metal Machine Music is definitely a good platform to start listening to noise music. However, it's still been done better.