Author Archives: Michael H. Little

Graded on a Curve:
Gary Numan,
The Pleasure Principle

I’ve never warmed up to synthesizers, and isn’t that the point? They’re supposed to sound steely cold and inhuman–they’re machines, for christ’s sake, and utterly incapable of that friendly human touch one associates with, say, Eddie Vedder or your local insurance agent.

For this reason and many others having to do with angular haircuts and architectural clothing I’ve always abhorred English synthpop. But that was before I finally managed to overcome my atavistic aversion to the stuff long enough to listen to one of the grandaddies of them all–Gary Numan’s 1979 LP The Pleasure Principle.

Nothing succeeds like excess, and on his first post-Tubeway Army outing Numan dispensed with the electric guitars and went full robot. What’s more, not only do the synthesizers sound like machines–he does too. As a result this fancy piece of state-of-the-art electronics with its telegraphic one-word song titles is as cold as Antarctica–colder even because Gary got rid off all the penguins!

The Pleasure Principle–which is all about the pleasures and perils of alienation, and the myriad disadvantages of being sentient–may be as frigid as a meat locker, but it’s as hook-filled as a meat locker too. But not always–Numan also tosses in some frosty and atmospheric instrumentals (“Airlane,” “Asylum”) along the lines of David Bowie’s ambient work with Brian Eno. (As for the non-instrumentals, some bring to mind Eno’s early solo work, sans quirks.)

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Graded on a Curve:
My Bloody Valentine, Loveless

My Bloody Valentine’s famously obsessed frontman spent 3 long years and a whole shitload of other peoples’ money making this 1991 shoegaze classic, and he didn’t deliver a follow-up until 2013. Seems Kevin Shields found Kevin Shields a tough act to follow. As for the guy whose money he spent (Creation Records honcho Alan McGee), his verdict on the record is on the record. In 2014 he said, “Loveless is fucking overrated as fuck.”

Well I humbly fucking disagree. While there are brief moments on Loveless when my attention wanders, My Bloody Valentine’s “sheets of tampered guitar noise meet dreamy melodies and hushed vocals” recipe is a winning one. The songs contained therein are simultaneously abrasive and deliciously mesmerizing–Loveless is as hypnotic a drug as nembutal, but it won’t put you too sleep.

The formula’s simple–Shields utilizes a whole mess of tricks (reverse reverb, tremolo techniques, tuning systems, samplers, etc.) to create oceanic swells and tidal washes of guitar that he harnesses to beguiling melodies over which he and Bilinda Butcher sing like sedated angels. Every single review I’ve ever read has described the guitars on this record as “swirling,” but that’s not what I hear. I hear churning–the churning of raw distortion into creamy dream pop butter.

Both mood and volume vary–for some reason “Only Shallow” and “What You Want” are twice as loud as anything else on the LP–but for the most part what you get are a set of songs that sound, well, like some mad genius fucked with them in the studio until they sounded wrong–wrong in such a way that obliges you, dear listener, to grow an entirely new set of ears in order to hear them right. And you do. After a while the brain-melting seesaw guitars and slushy and pureed vocals not only begin to make sense but to sound inevitable–as inevitable as any great forward leap in music, or any of the arts for that matter.

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Graded on a Curve:
Mike + The Mechanics, Living Years

I suppose you’re asking yourself why I’m wasting my valuable time writing about Mike + The Mechanics, and more importantly, why you should waste your valuable time reading about them. But before I get around to answering that question, I must ask another question: Would you really let this so-called supergroup of English wheelnut monkeys anywhere near your car?

Oh, and I can only answer the first question (this is getting confusing, I know) by asking yet another question. To wit, what exactly was it that made this vapid Genesis offshoot’s 1988 debut LP Living Years such a smashing commercial success? Did living breathing human beings really hanker for music that was even blander and more faceless than the bland and faceless “product” Phil Collins’ Genesis was supersaturating the airwaves with? Is it possible they found the likes of Duke and Abacab too musically challenging?

It’s a demoralizing thought. The generic pablum produced by Mike + The Mechanics–who were led by Genesis guitarist Mike Rutherford and included two vocalists named Paul (Carrack and Young, respectively)–is a lot of things, but idiosyncratic ain’t one of ‘em. These guys aren’t your colorful auto jockeys down the street, who crank Motörhead in the garage and drink beer during work hours. They’re a chain, like Midas, and their songs are antiseptic outlets that all look exactly the same. Just look for the big yellow sign!

The music on Living Years is (to switch metaphors on ya) white bread and margarine, flavorless fare incapable even of inducing heartburn. If music (here I go again!) is a drug, Living Years is a placebo–in single-blind clinical trials almost 70 percent of participants thought they were listening to real music!

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Graded on a Curve:
Love and Rockets,
Express

Bauhaus was so “Goth” even vampires wouldn’t listen to ‘em–they found ‘em “too depressing.” Take my vampy pal Vlrich. We were at this lame art school party in Philly one night when somebody put on “Bela Lugosi’s Dead.” Vlrich just sighed, turned to me and said, “Jesus, what does an undead guy have to do around here to hear some Foghat? Seriously, this song makes me want to walk into direct sunlight.”

Love and Rockets, different story. Once they’d parted ways with Peter Murphy (Bauhaus’ resident Count Dracula and architect of their patented “more embalmed than thou” sound) Daniel Ash, David J, and Kevin Haskins decided to risk sudden death (or at the very least skin cancer) by venturing intrepidly into the sun, and its glorious rays so boosted their collective mood they settled upon a “revamped” (sorry) sound–one that was brighter and psychedelia-tinged and didn’t induce suicidal ideation in people who are already dead.

Indeed, the first time Vlrich, who spent a perfectly happy adolescence in the Hanseatic League port city of Rostock, heard “Yin and Yang (The Flowerpot Man)” he exclaimed, “This song makes me want to party like it’s 1549!”

Vlrich’s favorite Love and Rockets LP (and mine!) is 1986’s Express. The band’s sophomore long-player boasts a diverse set of songs not one of which sounds like it was recorded in a Transylvanian castle during a violent electrical storm. It’s got some creamy dream pop and a Temptations’ cover and one tune that’s all snaky Arabian and another tune that reminds me of Pink Floyd and is so good they do it twice and yet another tune about a train or maybe LSD–who can tell with these guys?

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Graded on a Curve: Manowar,
Sign of the Hammer

Sweet Odin’s armpit! What offense to the olfactory glands do we have here? Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the worst heavy metal album in the universe!

I suppose I should hedge my bets, because I’ve never subjected myself to LPs by Yngwie Malmsteen or the Great Kat. But make no mistake–Manowar’s Sign of the Hammer (1984) is the real deal, an album so appalling in so many ways it transcends itself and becomes low comedy. Which actually makes it one of the best heavy metal albums in the universe!

“The Manowar Konzept” is as simple as it is dumb–four steroidal stand-ins for Conan the Barbarian play a testosterone-sodden species of operatic metal fitted out with fantasy lyrics extolling the Viking warrior code. The animal pelt loin cloths, leather and Thor hair are window dressing. Fleet-fingered bass player Joey DeMaio is a staunch proponent of the baroque overwrought. Singer Eric Adams shrieks like a Norseman with his balls in a forge. Backing Valkyries abound. Probably the best way to explain these nitwits from the land of ice and snow (i.e., Auburn, New York) is by noting they’re the only band in rock history to commit a solo bass rendition of “The Flight of the Bumblebees” to vinyl. If I were a bumblebee I’d commit suicide by bug zapper.

Indeed, the band’s ethos is so ludicrous it’s hard not to take it as an elaborate practical joke. And the fact that guitarist Ross “The Boss” Friedman was formerly a member of the Dictators, the funniest band to ever come out of New Yawk or anywhere for that manner, lends an element of plausibility to such suspicions. But no. The bombast is in earnest–chief songwriter and band genius DeMaio once complained to an MTV interviewer that “there’s a real lack of big, epic metal that is drenched with crashing guitars and choirs and orchestras.” But never you fear–Manowar to the rescue!

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Graded on a Curve:
The Housemartins,
London 0 Hull 4

You’ve gotta love a band of chipper Christian lads who deliver lines like “Don’t shoot someone tomorrow that you can shoot today.”

I’m talking, of course, about The Housemartins. Hailing from Hull, England, these Socialists for Jesus dressed up their angry agitprop in jangly pop clothing, but there’s no denying their righteous anger–they didn’t like what they saw in Margaret Thatcher’s Green and Unpleasant Land, and they lifted their cheery voices and, well, raged.

On their 1986 debut LP London 0 Hull 4, The Housemartins denounce fence sitters, sheep (“They’ve never questioned anything”), surrender monkeys (“Now apathy is happy that/It won without a fight”) and people who “listen without their ears.” The Housemartins practiced a radical Christianity, as is evidenced by the lines, “We’ve got to form a congregation and sink down the nation/Batter all the sinners to the ground.”

Ignore the words and what you get are a bunch of fey and frothy tunes with great soul vocals; this quartet of Hullensians could almost be mistaken for Wham!, except Wham! never advocated shooting anybody–they were too busy inspiring people to shoot them.

Sanctimony never sounded so divine as it does on London 0 Hull 4. What you get are four choirboys who sound like they just tossed off their cassocks and surplices, and their angelic (and very soulful) voices and jangly guitars put a deceptively ear-pleasing gloss on their very subversive messaging. Which basically amounts to “Wake up you complacent wankers, the rich and indifferent are bringing our country down around your working class ears.”

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Graded on a Curve:
Roxy Music,
Siren

All this week we’re celebrating the 2019 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees with a look back from within our hall of fame archives.
Ed.

I wish I was as suave as Bryan Ferry, the tuxedo-clad Euro-sophisticate whose jaded crooning about love has made him the most elegant lounge lizard in rock history. Not a bad act of sartorial re-creation for the son of a miner from Northern England, not bad at all. I wish I could pull it off. God, do I wish. But what can I say? When I was at the age he formed Roxy Music I was still wearing bib overalls. And guys in bib overalls have zilch odds of being mistaken for dapper Euro-seducers, which never occurred to me at the time—I simply thought of myself as a ladies’ man in the midst of a long, lonely run of shitty luck.

Formed at the dawn of the seventies, Roxy Music featured a core band that included Ferry on vocals, Phil Manzanera on guitar, Andy Mackay on saxophone and oboe, Paul Thompson on drums, a seemingly endless succession of guys on bass, and Brian Eno, who initially joined as a technical adviser, on synthesizers. Eno played a profound role in the band’s sound but left after two LPs due to creative differences with Ferry, and was replaced by keyboardist and electric violinist Eddie Jobson, formerly of Curved Air. You’ll run across gads of avant gardists who think Eno’s departure marked the end of Roxy Music as a great band, but I’m not one of them.

Me, I love all of their albums, but know I’m in the minority for believing 1977’s live Viva! Roxy Music is the best of them. But I’ve reviewed that LP already, which leaves me with my second favorite LP, 1975’s Siren. I’m not going to lie to you; I wish it had “Do the Strand,” “Virginia Plain,” “Street Life,” and “Pyjamarama” on it, but it doesn’t. Which is why the smart bet is to buy one of their “best of” compilations and be done with it. But then you’d be without “Just Another High” and “End of the Line” and all the other cool songs on Siren that you won’t find on any greatest hits package, and won’t you be sorry then? Eh?

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Graded on a Curve:
Led Zeppelin,
“Stairway to Heaven”

So if this Hobbit Trilogy of a ditty ain’t the greatest epic in the history of rock’n’roll, what is? It contains multitudes! Encompasses whole mythopoeic civilizations of stargazing shrub worshippers! And oh, it’s got three sections each of which is a wheel, which means it ain’t a stairway, it’s a tricycle! And if you hop aboard said tricycle it’ll ride you straight to heaven, which will save you from having to take the stairs!

“Stairway to Heaven” is both an architectural folly and the fullest and most baroque realization of the rock’n’roll dream–if Chuck Berry’s songs are street-ready hot rods, “Stairway”’s the fucking Sistine Chapel set down on the chassis of an Oldsmobile 442.

Written in part at the band’s Welsh hideaway Bron-Yr-Aur in 1970 following Led Zeppelin’s fifth American tour and in part at recording sessions at Headley Grange, Hampshire, “Stairway to Heaven” is–to employ yet another metaphor–a majestic and ever-widening river, one fed in turns by the tributaries of Renaissance music, English folk, heavy metal, and progressive rock.

“Stairway to Heaven” was famously never released as a single, but two U.S. promotional discs were issued in very small numbers, so collectors start your engines. Of course FM radio played the shit out of it anyway–I’m talking to the tune of an estimated 2,874,000 times by 1991, which if you were to listen to all 2,874,000 radio plays back to back would take you 44 YEARS! So start listening!

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Graded on a Curve:
The Cure,
Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me

All this week we’re celebrating the 2019 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees with a look back from within our hall of fame archives.
Ed.

How close-minded am I? I’ll tell you. When my girlfriend asked me about The Cure I told her I wasn’t really familiar with much more than their megahits. When she went on to suggest I’d like them, I told her, “Sure, about as much as I’d like to have railroad spikes driven into my eyes.”

But love is blind—having railroad spikes driven into your eyes will do that—so I agreed solely on her behalf to give the legendarily mopey Robert Smith, who has always struck me as Morrissey minus the saving sense of ironic wit—and Company a listen. And gosh darn it if I didn’t find I liked them. They weren’t the unremitting bummer I expected, which I should have known from having heard the great “Just Like Heaven” and “Friday I’m in Love.”

Sure, Smith can be a downer. But the Cure weren’t just jauntier than I anticipated; they were also tougher. The introspective Smith may be the least likely pugilist this side of Brian Eno, but his braggadocio on “Fight,” the closing cut of 1987’s double LP Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me, proves he knows his way around a pair of brass knuckles. The same goes for the king snake of a tune that is “The Snake Pit,” a savage and ponderous drone of a tune that will slither right off the stereo and bite you, as well as for the guitar-heavy opening cut “The Kiss,” on which Smith spits bile and vitriol, mostly to the effect of “I wish you were dead.” Which rhymes wonderfully with “Get your fucking voice out of my head.”

As I mentioned, Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me is a double LP, and like most double albums contains its share of filler. Like the “funky” “Hot Hot Hot!!!,” which one critic cryptically labeled “a tragedy of trenchfoot” before concluding that even he knew Smith has “better stuff hidden in that mop of his.” Meanwhile, the vaguely Indian-tinged “Like Cockatoos” is a bore, while the exotic drums and sax of “Icing Sugar” promise much but fail to deliver. As for “Torture” it’s aptly named, and not even its big drug thump and all Smith’s warbling and wailing can hide its lack of a catchy melody.

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Graded on a Curve:
Stevie Nicks,
Bella Donna

All this week we’re celebrating the 2019 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees with a look back from within our hall of fame archives.
Ed.

Talk about your sweet essence of unicorn–Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks was THEE gossamer High Priestess of Pop from the mid-1970s until the late 1980s, a white-winged dove and New Age sex symbol whose smoky, country rock-tinged vocals and gauzy, fantasy-themed ensembles inspired crystal visions in a whole generation of adolescents, both male and female.

Nicks established herself as a beguiling striker of mystical poses and magnetic personality of the sort that birds of exotic stripe like to perch on for reasons even they don’t fully comprehend. Just ask the cockatoo on the cover of Nick’s 1981 solo debut Bella Donna how he got there. He won’t be able to tell you. Stevie has always been big on magic, and on Bella Donna she pulled off a conjuring trick that proved she could alchemize vinyl into platinum without the help of her Fleetwood Mac bandmates. And the bewitching one did it while dating the odious Don Henley. Had Stevie REALLY wanted to show off her sorceress’s skills she’d have turned her one-time beau from an Eagle into a Sri Lankan Frogmouth, but I digress.

But Bella Donna isn’t really magic; Nicks put it together the old-fashioned way, by writing a bunch of rock solid songs that may have sounded middle of the road to the critics, punk rockers, and New Wavers of the time but have withstood the test of time. In short, Nicks employed good old-fashioned popcraft, and added her trademark mystical sheen to the results. Call Bella Donna aural valium if you want, but haven’t your ears ever wanted to curl up into little balls of undifferentiated tissue and just relax?

Not surprisingly, smoky pop songs predominate. The country rock tunes come as more of a surprise. “After the Glitter Fades” has such a “Rhinestone Cowboy” vibe to it Glen Campbell saw fit to cover it, and for good reason; it’s pure El Lay Country Glam right down to Nicks’ “Well I never thought I’d make it here in Hollywood.” And Nicks drapes country lament “The Highwayman” in fairy lights with a lot of witchy “Haute Couture & Western” lyrics along the lines of “Her horse is like a dragonfly/She is just a fool.” I can hear Hank Williams Jr. singing the song but I sure as hell can’t hear him singing the words, if you know what I mean.

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Graded on a Curve:
Roxy Music,
Viva! Roxy Music

All this week we’re celebrating the 2019 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees with a look back from within our hall of fame archives.
Ed.

I am writing these lines in my own blood on a sheet of homemade papyrus, which I will then shove into a bottle and toss into the sea. Why? Because this review is about Roxy Music, and Roxy Music fans are a deranged and dangerous lot, known for issuing fatwahs against people who disagree with their fiercely held opinions—that or just plain fopping them to death.

So coward that I am, I took the precaution of relocating to a deserted archipelago in the remote vastness of the South Pacific—you know, to lie low until the spear-shaking dies down. Unfortunately, I now find myself a castaway (can’t believe I forgot to book that return trip) and have been reduced to a diet of stump-toed gecko and fermented 190-proof coconut hooch, a volleyball with a face painted on it for company. Because what I’m about to say is sure to cause every Roxy fan on earth to howl and then hunt me down. To wit, Roxy Music’s best album is NOT one of the fetishized Eno-era LPs, or the critically acclaimed 1973-75 albums that followed, or even the much-beloved late-period Avalon. No, Roxy Music’s best LP is—prepare to go apoplectic, Roxy lovers—1976’s live Viva! Roxy Music.

There, I said it. And I can hear the howls of outrage way out here in the middle of nowhere. Thank God for good old Wilson—at least I know he agrees with me.

What’s that Wilson? You think I’m full of shit? That we’re not talking about Phish, but Roxy Music? A band whose studio LPs were not only brilliant, but every bit as elegant, sophisticated, and impeccably groomed—with every hair in its proper place—as Roxy’s impossibly suave dandy of a front man, the tuxedo-wearing Brian Ferry? And only a complete moron would pass over such studio bliss for a LIVE album, that lowest form of rock life, where mistakes are inevitable and the band’s hair gets all mussed up and—what kind of buffoon are you, anyway?

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Graded on a Curve:
Def Leppard,
Hysteria

All this week we’re celebrating the 2019 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees with a look back from within our hall of fame archives.
Ed.

Hello music fans! You’re joining me here live from lovely Pyongyang, North Korea, where I’m about to sit down with Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un, who is about to make a big musical announcement!

And here comes Kim now, ready to verbally spar in a glittering WWE wrestling jacket and tights, a baby tiger cradled in his arms! What chubby charisma! What a dazzling smile! It’s hard to believe this is the same guy who had a mid-sized city executed for sneezing during one of his 5-1/2-hour speeches! A palace lackey seats us in two very uncomfortable solid-gold chairs, another palace lackey brings Kim his jade bong and baggy filled with primo Godfather OG, and after we both take a couple of hits and I get very, very paranoid, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty.

You don’t plan to have me killed, do you?

Ha, ha. Never. You are my favorite Western Rock Critic. Your extremely positive review of Christopher Cross echoed many of my own insights on the genius who brought us “Sailing.” We Christopher Cross fans must stick together.

So what’s the big announcement?

For many years I have banned Western Music. It is decadent, serves no propaganda purpose, and makes people dance. North Korea is like the town of Bomont, and I will not put up with any Kevin Bacon-like footlooseness. Such counter-revolutionary hijinks could undermine my very cool Cult of Personality.

That said, I have given my personal okay to certain types of Western Music over the years. My all-female military ensemble The Morenbong Band has been known to play the theme from my favorite movie Rocky, for example. I cannot watch Sylvester Stallone triumph against adversity without crying, and then killing anyone who has witnessed me crying. I’ve tragically lost many beloved family members in this manner.

And?

Don’t get pushy. I have decided, after much soul-searching and many, many playings of “Pour Some Sugar on Me,” to make Def Leppard’s Hysteria available for sale in North Korea’s sole music store, Pyongyang’s Oppressive Sounds. Citizens will now be allowed to buy it alongside any of the store’s other six musical offerings, all of which are entitled Music to Love Kim By.

That said, anyone caught with a Style Council LP will be summarily executed. And that goes double for The The and I mean that quite literally. You will be executed twice.

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Graded on a Curve:
Slade, Sladest

These lovable Wolverhampton cheaters at Scrabble certainly never won a spelling bee, and one of ‘em (guitarist Dave Hill) walked around in a mullet so hideous it could even get you evicted from an Alabama trailer park, and come to think of it the whole bunch of ‘em looked pretty silly in their Glam clobber, but we’re talking about the great Slade here so–cum on feel the noize!

Because when it comes to irresistibly catchy (and irreducibly simple) rabble rousers (they perfected the whole stomp and clap thing long before Queen came along with “We Will Rock You”) Slade can’t be beat.

Slade may have abandoned their braces and boots Oi roots to climb aboard the Big Glam Bandwagon, but they never forgot their rowdy West Midlands yob origins–“Cum On Feel the Noize,” “Gudbuy T’ Jane,” and “Mama Were All Crazee Now” are all rafters-shaking boot boy anthems. Not for nothing did Hill wear the words “Super Yob” on the breastplate of his pointy-shouldered space doofus stage costume.

The “Brummie oiks” (thanks Barney Hoskyns!) in Slade were the friendliest bunch of Wulfrunian lager louts you’d ever want to meet, preferring cheery sing alongs in the great English pub tradition to sticking a broken bottle in your mug. They also had a quiet side and a sentimental streak a mile wide, not that you’d know it if you lived in the States, which only got to meet Slade’s crazee Mr. Hyde persona.

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Graded on a Curve: Wishbone Ash,
Argus

Four English song-smithies who couldn’t figure out if they wanted to be guitar heroes or fey sylvan Medievalists playing music to seduce water sprites by, Wishbone Ash really gets my goat–wowing me one minute, and making me want to scream the next.

Take 1972’s Argus, Wishbone Ash’s most successful outing. This baby totally befuddled me as a kid; I loved the groovy guitar interplay between Andy Powell and Ted Turner, but got thrown every time by all the King Arthur’s-in-the-house horseshit. The damn thing sounded like a cross between a Renaissance Faire and Lou Reed’s Rock n Roll Animal, and I simply couldn’t wrap my poor teen mind around it.

You got, for instance, “Sometime World,” which begins life as a moody evocation of England’s green and pleasant land and ends it as a guitar rampage for the ages. “Throw Down the Sword,” similar deal. It opens with a drum tattoo like you might have heard at the beheading of Anne Boleyn before going all Alfred, Lord Tennyson–or Styx–on your ass. But just when you’re ready to dismiss it as a piece of pretentious prog wankery, it goes out blazing in a fiery fandango of guitars that’ll set your hair on fire. It’s furious-making.

Why, oh why, couldn’t these princes of pettifoggery just throw away their suits of armor and kick out the jams like righteous 20th Century motherfuckers? “Warrior” comes on like a case of 21st Century schizophrenia, man, it’s all blistering guitars and cymbal smash and you think “Yes! Finally!” Only to then collapse like Percy Bysshe Shelley in a poetic swoon!

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Graded on a Curve:
Shorty,
Thumb Days

Remember that scene in Halloween where Donald Pleasance is lurking in the bushes by Michael Myers’ empty house and this little punk named Lonnie’s getting ready to go up the walk and Pleasance cups his hands around his mouth and stage whispers, “Hey! Hey Lonnie! Get your ass away from there!”?

Well, all I got to say about Thumb Days is “Hey! Hey you! Get your ass away from this record!” Because there’s something serious amiss in the mental department with Shorty, the Chi-Town post-rockers who put it out, and the contents of said record are far scarier than anything Lonnie might have come across in Michael Myers’ house.

The five dudes in Shorty may look like a harmless bunch, guys you wouldn’t look twice at at a house party, but they have a positively inspiring knack for making your skin crawl. Needless to say, I love ‘em to death.

On 1993’s Thumb Days Shorty established its bona fides as the creepiest practitioners of Midwestern Noise Rock, an honor I bestow upon them in large part due to the unique vocal stylings of the great Al Johnson, who sounds like your basic pedophile with a bad case of laryngitis. He has this way of hissing like the snake that seduced Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, and gives off this real perv-o vibe that makes you think here’s a fellow you don’t want near your person because he just might start licking you. The album gives off the same vibe.

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