By New Times
By Derek Askey
By Mark Deming
By Serene Dominic
By Jason Keil
By Robrt L. Pela and Amy Silverman
By Jeff Moses
By Serene Dominic
At three in the morning, I saw her drunk, writhing around on this fat guy. I looked through the window and there they were, starting to go at it on the chair in her living room. My head suddenly became small and roared as its capillaries swelled like red balloons. A cranial gang-rape. Holding on to the window frame for support, I then reacquainted myself with the agony by which all other agony is measured.
This was my girlfriend, too, home from a night out with friends. She had on that dress, the one I had earlier convinced her to wear after she thought it too tight. She wore the bracelet I'd spent my last 10 bucks on. They were listening to a record I'd bought for her.
Her lips, hips and tender fingertips all about that horrible fatso; the one so brilliant at lost puppy dogisms and little-boy-lost countenance that he scores regularly with chicks at his former job. I remember thinking, "What a bunch of useless, airheaded girls, buying into this prick -- hook, line and snatch."
In the past, I would never have made reference to this guy's blubber, I considered him a pal. But this was my girlfriend on top of him and he knew it, and still, he was digging it, digging into her. That makes him a pig. Immediately, I began to wonder how many times this might have happened in the past. Then I didn't want to think anymore. When the lifeless and frigid December air turns to a raging hot oven, you know your panic is peaking.
I went for the beer. Now I know I live to close this woman, too close to any woman.
Not unlike the Internet, porn has a way of turning you into a hermit. Profuse porn video viewing will guarantee an existence with no friends, no social life and no outside interests. It will ensure that the blue glow of your TV screen will be the last flicker of life in the wee hours of the morning. Your whole connection to an outside community will be reduced to grunted exchanges with some flaccid-faced schlub manning the all-nite counter at your local filth emporium.
And in the event you do brave the outdoors of, say, a 7-Eleven for beer, you'll wonder why the check-out girl isn't suddenly clad in a pair of Daisy Dukes and gorging on Wild Turkey Surprise. In fact, you'll expect all women to be the man-adoring trollops so vividly portrayed in your beloved skin flicks. And men, too, whose drive to seize every opportunity for superiority and rule is magnified ridiculously.
The new Korn record sounds like a campfire sing-along for a group of 12-step porn addicts. The band members even resemble the typical pornophile; shockingly luckless in the genetic lottery, with zero sense of aesthetics and the ever-apparent signs that they are desperately short on personal hygiene skills. Mickey Rourke taught us that you can get away with a lot in the human grunge department, provided you are even minutely blessed with a sense of style. An argument since shot to hell with the rise of Korn.
Issues cruelly prolongs the life span of the one shit idea. Loads of verbal wanks canvassing millionaire angst and fag denial are set to that same linear, meth-flavored dirge played out tenfold on the last Korn picnic. Of course, the first week out, this thing moved close to half a million units in the U.S. Those types of figures should keep the boys knee-deep in silicone and collagen for days to come.
All the Way . . . A Decade of Song
Shiny, shimmery, perfect, fun. It's no wonder her photos are so airbrushed out of life. They'd have to be, to swing with a decade's worth of movie themes and hack writer get-rich schemes. Even Ol' Blue Eyes steps up, making an out-of-casket cameo on the Cahn/Van Heusen classic "All The Way." That one almost got me.
The Science of Things
The Bush terrain here is a predictable one: Bush attacks mediocrity, and mediocrity wins.
But, hey, there is a sunny side up: This record is surprisingly absent of label marketing tie-ins that are commonly found on many current rap/metal chart toppers.
But why is Bush really bad? Here are 10 reasons that floated to my murky surface following a spin of Bush's spankin' new sequel to 1996's six-million-selling turd Switchblade Suitcase.
1. The Importance of Being Earnest: Bush still engages in reprehensible antics like fusing inferior rock with somber grimaces.
2. Limp Biscuit:Bush singer Gavin Rossdale relies on breathy delivery to simulate passion, and the band follows suit with heaps of distortion to simulate feel, and, ultimately, climax. The aural equivalent of a by-the-numbers porno.
3. Mall Cash:The band is a quartet of privileged gobs plagued by a fascination for Yankee teen dollar. Singer Rossdale has amassed a fortune conservatively tallied to be worth 12 million dollars.
4. Bad Millionaire Rock Stars Get the Chicks:No Doubt bombshell/squealer Gwen Stefani has allowed Rossdale considerable access to her porcelain clam, thus producing abundant amounts of penis envy in boys on all sides of the Atlantic. Hey, Gwen, how could ye?
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org