Misanthrope Through and Through

Nursing a broken heart and bruised ego, Trashman seeks solace and finds . . . Bush

5. Trust Funds Betray Rock 'n' Roll Greatness: Bush's presentation of rock 'n' roll mechanics and iconography is too fucking sculpted, blanched and self-satisfied. It lacks any hint of obsession that makes the songs of contemporaries like Radiohead appealing. They play it as if armed with personal safety nets. You get the feeling the members of Bush would be sitting content in trust-fund sanctuary if not for its enormous commercial success.

6. Outdoor Miners: If it weren't for transgressively mining the clang of the '90s Pacific Northwest, Bush would be absent of any sort of "sound" whatsoever. At least they decided against donning Neil Young work shirts.

7. Spiders From Mars: The only hook on the album falls in the chorus of "Spacetravel." Problem is, another wealthy and pompous ass inspired it.

My hair will go on: Celine Dion and her mane squeeze.
Andre Rau
My hair will go on: Celine Dion and her mane squeeze.
Bush: "Hey, what's Gavin Rossdale doing with your 10th-grade science teacher?"
Kevin Westenberg
Bush: "Hey, what's Gavin Rossdale doing with your 10th-grade science teacher?"

8. Bald Guy: There's a bald guy in the band and he looks like your 10th-grade biology teacher. The inspiration behind the album's title, perhaps?

9. Melodrama: There is so much extraneous and forgettable garbage throughout The Science of Things, it's a mind-boggle they were able to cram it all onto one record. Some lyrics, however, wield enough staying power to elicit a few residual winces many days later: "There are days/When I fear for my life/Think that's strange/Well that's the waste of you."

10. End of the World As We Know It: This banality turns into a Stipe manifesto long after the listener realizes he's been suckered by a '90s nostalgia act. Themes like the evils of big corporations, asbestos and shit-water bays align themselves easily with the PETA and Greenpeace nods in the CD booklet.

The emerald hues on the record's cover look nice, a "cautionary" militant vegan stance with proletarian incentive. Just the sort of Stinglike pap one could expect from a bunch of limey millionaires.

6:66 Satan's Child

Glenn Danzig still derives meaning from that haggard old myth known as Jim Morrison. Blame-displacements ("The more you give/The more they take") and non sequiturs ("I am teethy of fire/Taste a thousand shames/I am bleak desire/Known through the days") lay around the tunes like so many funeral pyres. The evil metallic riffage and casket rattle-thumping only secure his place as rock's most dedicated follower of stupid devil stuff. Watching a Scooby-Doo episode with a bowl of Cap'n Crunch in your lap will offer more scares than any amount of body-piercings, goofy muscles and shadowy photos Danzig draws upon to help sculpt his faux menacing persona.

Guns n' Roses
Live Era '87-'93

Word is that W. Axl has a pistol to his head over Guns n' Poses' recent flop from the End of Days soundtrack. We're guessing those trailer-park-sculpted yowls and constipated howls have run their course among America's youth -- with or without all that Slashy, redneck Les Paul swagger behind him. Exit G n' P, enter Limp Kornhole.

Aside from Pro Tooling the life out of this set in order to give Duff's vodka-fueled bass lines an alignment with the tracks at hand, no overdubs were added -- supposedly. Nevertheless, live rock 'n' roll -- which is the shit G n' P claimed to rabble-rouse all those years ago -- doesn't exactly ooze forth here. And I suspect it never really did.

The Who's Live at Leeds and the Ramones' It's Alive are two that best define the correct use of soap in such matters. Those records taught us a skewering must go on, a carelessness to counter balance its arrogant source. Guns n' Poses never got that. Too much Head East and Nazareth and not enough Kinks and Clash.

Big deal, they had all the cock, coke, chords, chicks, tats, leather and collapsed veins that Sir Richards did, but none of the true swagger. Certainly, no winks and no nods.

Contact Bill Blake at his online address: trashman@rock.com

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