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Suicidal Tendencies (1983)

15 Jun

‘Suicidal Tendencies’ was the debut album by American thrash band of the same name. Released in July 1983 through Frontier Records, it was a bestseller at the time. Standout tracks are: ‘Suicide’s an Alternative/You’ll Be Sorry’, ‘Suicidal Failure’ and, of course, ‘Institutionalized’ (the only single released on the album). The cover features an image of the band members (at the time, Mike Muir, Mike Ball, Carlos Egert on drums and Mike Dunnigan on bass) hanging upside down.

Listen here:

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Retrospective Review: Sonic Youth – ‘Confusion is Sex’

25 Dec
Sonic Youth - Confusion is Sex Album Cover (Source Discog)

Image Source: Discogs.com, http://bit.ly/1YigbJD.

Overview:

  • 1983 debut album from Sonic Youth on no-wave/post-punk label Neutral Records (headed by Glenn Branca). Neutral Records would later go on to release records by the Swans;
  • The only song that Lee Ranaldo plays bass on is the second track ‘Protect Me You’, a gothic-like, haunting drone melody that lingers on Gordon’s vocals ‘Protect me from ravagement/I’m ten years old/ I don’t know what I do/ Protect me myself’. The song is around six minutes in length;
  • The front cover of the album displays a sketch of guitarist Thurston Moore by bassist Kim Gordon;
  • Parts of the song use a ‘prepared guitar’ technique, which lends the screeching, metallic tones, grounded by the bass.

Review:

The first official studio album from Sonic Youth was put out on nu-wave, post-punk outlet Neutral Records in 1983. Arguably one of their best albums (certainly so, if you compare with every subsequent album between 1985-1988), ‘Confusion is Sex’ is littered with grunge, prepared-guitar riffs that sometimes thrill (cover of The Stooges ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’) and sometimes haunt (‘Protect Me You’). The album was initially released following Sonic Youth’s first tour with label-mates the Swans.

‘Protect Me You’ Lyrics:

Protect me from ravagement
I’m ten years old
I don’t know what I do
Protect me myself

I’m fourteen
There’s nothing to do
Protect me yourself
I’m sixteen

Protect me from starving
I’m eighteen
Protect me you
I don’t know what you do

Protect me demons
That come at night
I don’t know what they say
They’re whispering over

Sends the night air away
And makes me forget
I hope they come
Again and again

Huh they come
Again and again
I hope they come again
Again, again

Listen here:
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Slint – Spiderland

26 Aug

Okay, not gonna lie. It was the album cover that first attracted me to ‘Spiderland’, by Slint. But okay, hey! Music-lovers alike will be familiar with the influence of iconic album/vinyl art. FYI, I am not implying that ‘Spiderland’ is iconic. Musically, I wouldn’t state that it is. Actually, ‘musically’ (okay, so defining this with respect to music theory) it’s fairly juvenile. Listening back to it, it’s what I would ‘classically’ (again, another over-used phrase, I know) refer to as a ‘stoner’ album; that is, in no more complex terminology, an album to get ‘stoned’ to, or hook up with someone, or fall in love to. It’s an album that can be enjoyed when you don’t really want to think too much (that is, assuming you ever want to think too much); but it’s not an album for those looking for musical complexity.

‘What do you think defines ‘Spiderland’ then?’, I hear you wonder in the depths of your subconscious (or not, as the case is more likely to be). What makes me listen to the album again?  Well, the first response I would give is: the album-cover? NSS. After all, this is the first thing that got me listening to it at all. What else? Not the complexity, but it’s light-heartedness. From moments of quiet, slow melody, it blasts into unexpected (albeit simple) riffs that set my soul on fire. It’s awesome. Everytime I listen to it, I get emotional. My point? Music doesn’t haven’t to be complicated to be good. I love complicated music, but sometimes also music doesn’t need mental dissection. For that purpose, ‘Spiderland’ is well worth considering.

As always, sharing the link, where permissible.

With love from London,

Victoria

Crash Music Blog

Copyright disclaimer: Crash Music Blog does not own rights to any of the material published; all content is published out of mutual admiration only. Any copyright queries/requests-for-removal-of-content, please contact crashmusicblog@gmail.com. Thank you.

‘I Wanna Be Adored’ by the Stone Roses: Comment

6 Jan

I have never really been much of a fan of the Stone Roses. But, listening again to the 1989 song ‘I Wanna Be Adored’ I am intrigued by the opening bass line (Gary Mounfield’s signature, I understand); the haunting melody guitar melody in the distance.  Drums at 1:12; then the subtle build-up to the entrance of electric guitars at 1:30.

Reading the lyrics, it’s hard even for someone who writes poetry to discern their underlying meaning:

‘I don’t have to sell my soul/ He’s already in me.’

This is repeated three times.

Is Ian Brown referring to the fact that he doesn’t have to sell his soul to be ‘adored’ (as the title of the song would suggest)? This then conflicts with the song’s repetition of the phrase,

I wanna be adored’

Structurally, the song progresses from this psychic, trance-like melody into something deeper, more rock-like. Its underlying tone is one of quiet desperation gradually becoming fully-blown self-definition.

On the one hand, the ambiguous person wants to be ‘adored‘ but at the same time he is adored:

You adore me’.

This is an alternation between wanting to be loved and being loved. From the beginning you get the impression, with the earthly organic notes that define the song’s beginning, to the harder guitar riffs towards the end, that the point of the song is to be loved and adored as oneself. That’s without the need to lose anything of who you are.

© All rights to song lyrics reproduced here are with Stone Roses estate management (Ian George Brown, John Squire) etc. Removal of any material considered in breach of copyright can be requested at any time.  Email: crashmusicblog@gmail.com.