<b>IUD<br>The Proper Sex</b><br>Fact: Lizzi and Sadie are single-handedly keeping the legacy of weirdo NYC
Who the F%@k Are You?
Paul’s Boutique 20th Anniversary Edition
You’re kidding, right? You’re going to call my house on Black Christmas and have the balls to ask me to review some white rap? And not just “some white rap”—the last album that was allowed to sample whatever they wanted for free and fucked it up for black rappers forever. You have some balls, Vice. I don’t care if you have a brown dude as your boss. He’s not even the good kind of brown. He’s that bad-news-brown that likes to blow shit up. Racists, man, racists. I’ll have your reviews Thursday. If you’re lucky. Fuck off.
The Truth Is Here
Art School Girls
This album sounds like it bottled up a house party near Pratt before they took Sparks off the market. It might be because they remixed and Midas-touched half the good indie bands in Brooklyn, but who cares, it’s just good vibes and goofy super-drunk smiles and way too much fun. Side note, I listened to this album 15 times in a row, and by the end of it, after memorizing the skits to the point where mouthing the words came easy, I not only felt like I had black friends, I felt like I might BE someone’s black friend.
THESE ARE POWERS
All Aboard Future
CHRISTIAN “DICK JOKE” STORM
THE BRAN FLAKES
I Have Hands
Even if sampling the Muppets is your whole shtick and you’ve been doing it since the 90s, describing anything you do past the age of 20 as “sugar-induced” still sends visions of Chris Hansen walking through my head. Anyways, this is pretty much what Girl Talk would sound like if he picked songs nobody liked.
The only difference between this and 2006’s Cocked and Loaded is the absence of bizarre guests (half of Cheap Trick and ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons) and usual suspects (Gibby Haynes and Jello), leaving Al to, as it says on the band’s site, “pass the torch” (translated: “surround myself with hacks”) to three dudes who rock a similar and wildly unfortunate snakeskin-hat/cowboy-biker dirtbag look. Unsurprisingly, Sex-O trades in the poorly aged “industrial dance-metal” this band made 20 years ago—a sound that we pray to our lord Satan will remain free of nostalgic revival.
God, I hate that cadence all these synthy bands sing in. You know what I’m talking about? “NEH neh neh neh, neh NEH neh NEH NEH,” etc. Just use a vocoder or something already. Christ.
Getting your grindcore from a 40-year-old Buffalo native is like getting a root canal from a Moroccan housecat. Funny in theory, but PREPOSTEROUS in practice.
ALL NIGHT DRUG PROWLING WOLVES
Colonel Generally when a band is fixated on things like drinking and Tom Waits, the results involve a bunch of old-timey words and a lot less actual drinking than advertised. Very rarely does it end up sounding like some secret tape of Joe Strummer and later Hüsker Dü getting wasted together and belting out the choruses of Cars songs. If things go as planned, I will never know what this album sounds like 100 percent sober.
...AND YOU WILL KNOW US BY THE TRAIL OF THE DEAD
The Century of Self
Whenever a band is notorious for a destructive stage show—smashing guitars, lighting shit on fire, etc.—you have to wonder whether they’re really gripped by passion and lost in the moment or just some theatrical homos who held a preshow meeting in the green room to choreograph the chaos. A few years later, if that band writes a record that sounds like an Elton John tribute, you don’t have to wonder anymore.
When we first saw this lezzie fashion plate perform live a few years ago, she used to go for a mellow Cat Power vibe. Somewhere along the way she decided to “rock out,” as the kids say, and now she oscillates between sounding like a 14-year-old boy trying to sing like Morrissey and a 14-year-old boy trying to sing like Chrissie Hynde—both of which produce surprisingly endearing aural results. Lissy’s currently on tour with the Virgins, which is actually quite troubling because that means they’ve taken about 85 percent of New York City’s “cool” reserves on the road with them and have thus left the city wide open for nerd attacks. Way to go, guys.
“Clever” titles, “melodic” singing, and totally restrained pop metal come together to form a boring record full of the kind of songs that you hear in a movie theater before the previews. This band treats punk like a shitty job where its members are dragging themselves to the job site and counting the minutes until they get to go home and drink and eat their Hungry Man dinners while furiously beating their wives.
It’s Great to Be Alive
Living for Death, Destroying the Rest
I didn’t think they could top “Don’t Touch My Shit,” but here we are: A song whose chorus is the sound that woman made when she fell out of the grape-stomping pan on YouTube. Well played, ladies.
It’s about time we started revisiting things worth visiting in the first place. This is stripped-down punk rock done right, meaning it’s catchy, quick, and fuzzy and it nods on more than one occasion to Hüsker Dü. And I miss Hüsker Dü. Nu-rave? Who missed Altern-8?
The Monstrous Vanguard
Kittens ablaze… with tunefulness! This is one of those fun local bands with a million weird members: a journalist who test-drives power yachts and roller coasters, an ex–fashion buyer, an SAT tutor, a neuroscience PhD, an art handler, and so on and so forth. They use all those bonus instruments, like cello and violin, that make them sound all grand and orchestral even when they’re playing in the basement of Lit. And lead-singer drummers are always fun—it’s like watching a clown balance a chair on his chin while Hula-hooping. I can barely tie my shoes while breathing without getting gum everywhere so, wow, color me impressed!
Years of Refusal
Hi. I am going to review this record without ever listening to it. Ready? Here we go: I am way beyond sick of Morrissey. Maybe it’s his older fans who finally ruined him for me, with all their bloated, gasbag, internet-fan-forum-trolling sycophantic bullshit. Or maybe it’s his fake fans who made me hate him—the 22-year-old kids wearing t-shirts that have lyrics of songs they didn’t even know six months ago. Or wait, maybe it’s Moz himself? Maybe it’s the fact that he hasn’t put out a record that was great start to finish since Bona Drag? Don’t start crying about Your Arsenal or whichever of his albums you think you’re special for knowing so well, either. Most of his records have, you know, a couple of good songs. The last one sucked balls all the way. I bet this one does too. Alls I know is that to deserve the level of worship he gets, he should be doing a lot more than shitting out hunks of mediocrity and riding the wave of his ancient work. If everyone wasn’t so busy shrieking about how much they love him just to grab some weird version of street cred, maybe the smoke would clear and we could realize he’s been a hack for over a decade now. I’m just sayin’, is all. PS: Did he BeDazzle a baby?
PICKLES THE ORANGE CAT
A Fool for Everyone
The Social Registry
ANTONY AND THE JOHNSONS
The Crying Light
If you’d never heard Antony before, I could imagine you might be all, “Who is this lady with the sinus cold and why is she so frightened?” But you would soon grow to love this cuddly, melodramatic tranny as much we do. We didn’t really wanna pull this card, but, well… If you don’t like Antony, you are a raging homophobe. AND a transphobe. You should be ashamed of yourself, you heteronormative jerkface.
SIX ORGANS OF ADMITTANCE
To Be Good for a Day
I loved this album from the second Rebecca started singing. She has such a deadpan yet sincere voice, like a less goofy Kimya Dawson or a more goofy Suzanne Vega. Plus she has a lisp for a lil’ touch of cuteness. Her lyrics are great too—there’s a song that references the Rabbit vibrator, Wellbutrin, Adderall, and Law & Order all within one minute, but not even in a jokey way, more just like matter-of-fact. So then I googled her and found this insane article some lechy guy wrote about her in the New York Observer last year that chronicles the minutest details of her personal life for no apparent reason. Now I feel like an internet stalker. Her story’s pretty great though—she’s like a long-lost character from The Royal Tenenbaums. Someone should make a movie about her. Oh, and fun fact: Rebecca’s butt was once on the cover of Vice!
Well, well, well, if it ain’t old Vetiver. Come back here for another word-lickin’, I take it? Well, let’s just see what Old Zeke can find in his opinion barrel… All right, I think I got one. How ’bout this? “This is the musical equivalent of undergoing a really boring colonoscopy.” There we go, now take your janky ass back to San Francisco or wherever you’re from this week.
OLD ZEKE This is a collection of old and rare tracks, and it appears that Chasny used to write the same weird, droning, sometimes dark, sometimes pretty, guitar-driven folk songs he does now, only back then they were even longer (if you can imagine such a thing). I woke up hungover, checked my email, saw that I got this album, put it on, and immediately got back in bed and took a nap. This album was a really good soundtrack for said nap. It made me dream that I had a long beard and was in the Manson Family, but in the happy times before all that tacky murder business.
It’s Not Me, It’s You
TERP 2 IT
My Wiener Touches the Ceiling
You know what? I’m not doing this. I’m not taking this CD home and running the risk of leaving it next to my stereo and then a friend comes over and I have to explain how there’s some nerd in Texas who decided to send us his album to review. That’s probably the most minor of all irritations, but it is still not worth it. End of story.
Merriweather Post Pavilion
The Proper Sex
The Social Registry
Fact: Lizzi and Sadie are single-handedly keeping the legacy of weirdo NYC downtown art-noise music alive—and if I may say so, looking pretty dang good while doing it. This is a lot darker than the stuff Lizzi does with Gang Gang Dance (the other band single-handedly keeping NYC art-noise alive—what, there can’t be two single hands?). This album reminds me of early Butthole Surfers freak-out jams, like “Lou Reed” or that one with the sheep noises on Locust Abortion Technician. This is exactly the kind of stuff that people always mock when they try to make fun of how “pretentious” New York is. To which we say, hell yeah! This is how we roll. Welcome to New York—now get the fuck out.