Review Summary: Really the album title is the perfect review, but I could add a couple of thoughts to it
Cons: It’s not original. Listening to it at low volume as akin to gluing a shell onto a slug. The songs all sound the same. The singer is near incomprehensible. Your cool dad will probably like it. It’ll make the Sex Pistols sound tame (musically). Some of the songs may not live up to their titles (“Tattooed Apathetic Boys”, “We Give a Rat’s Ass”, “Let’s dress up the Naked Truth”. “I want My Baby…Dead?”). Finally, it’ll make most modern music seem even worse in comparison, knowing that bands can still make music this modern- say, does anyone know a mailman who delivers mail back to 1993?
Pros: This album is one of the greatest albums in the so-called “garage punk” genre, in fact it’s the only great album in the garage punk genre. Unlike a lot of modern bands who seek to emulate punk it doesn’t sound contrived and better still it doesn’t sound workmanlike. This is a fun, passionate, rousing, rad, edgy and other buzzwords that people will probably have forgotten the meanings of in 2 years. How could an album like this come out and not have an impact at all? It’s great, and it shows Nevermind as the diluted punk/AOR/Rock hybrid it really is (I DO like Nevermind). It’s invigorating to listen to; it’ll make you feel alive. Like many people, I believed punk was dead in this age, but if you listen to this record you might at least conclude that it has a pretty amazing corpse. More importantly, the songs are all melodic as a bat with a flute that hung around with Ian Anderson and Roland Kirk. Because most of the songs go buy so quickly it’s feasible to think they might not make an impact but they really do, they’re all energetic, fast, funny, the whole spectrum of emotions and feelings that truly great rock music should make you feel. The album is also well-produced, so it doesn’t seem like a big, headache inducing blur. This music has soul, it has a very real, very genuine passion, at least will being listened to it can seem like the human race really could accomplish anything, that if four musicians who don’t seem to have that much ambition, who don’t really have an original, innovative thing to say, who probably wrote most of these songs in a couple of days, can still create music this vital, music that breaths, who can put life back into a stagnant genre, can remind people why they fell in love with punk in the first place. And if this reeks of hyperbole, I hope it’s convincing because any fan of Rock music (especially punk and garage rock) should own this, anyone who believes in music as more than just something that distracts someone from their mundane life.
Particular highlights includes the cover of Mr. Suit, which ironically is the slowest song on the album (if you don’t think it’s ironic then quite frankly you’re wasting your time not thinking it’s ironic). Finally you can understand what the lyrics in the original were, and you can finally understand what the singer is saying. There’s also the tense “I’m Weak”, which includes the great line “life’s a joke without a punchline”. Then there's the opening track “Born Toulouse-Lautrec”, which sets the mood of the album perfectly, and has the wonderfully catchy “I'm a worker, you're a worker, would you like to be a worker to?” chorus, it's a burst of energy, like the new big bang of what could have been a great punk re-emergence. “Long Gong Sister” is real good too, with a great bassline. All the tracks are good but these ones particularly stick out. Oh, and regardless of what I said earlier all the tracks do sound different, it can just be hard at first to find that out.
I suppose I haven't described the music as a whole, well, it's fuzzy, extremely fast tempo, very enjoyable. Basically a great mixture of speedy punk and catchy, fuzzed out garage rock. It's got a spark that's infectious. At times it sounds tense, at times it sounds mean, sometimes it sounds sarcastic and sometimes it sounds goofy. The lyrics are full of epigrams and and wordplay, oh, and sometimes naughty words. There isn't much more to say, if you dig that type of music you'll dig this.
It was really unnecessary for the band to continue after this, like leaving out toenails for the tooth-fairy after you've lost all your baby teeth.
Buy this album.