Slanted and Enchanted Import
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Very good condition. Original artwork. Shipped direct from the UK. All discs 100% QA checked for read errors before dispatch. DVD case may show some signs of previous use. Disc may have some minor light surface scratches which will not affect playing. 100
Top customer reviews
The band wear their Fall influences on their sleeve (at least three of the tracks are MES-cribs, and the sleeve bears more than a passing resemblance to Hex Enduction Hour), but who cares? The bottom line is that this is a great LP by a band that will be sorely missed.
I had heard the American version with bsides and live stuff , which really watered down what is a great album , and a great album should not be tampered with (thankyou Nirvana , Zeppelin, Stones etc), but labels like to squeeze the last cent out of fans. Putting this album back in its original form was hopefully the work of a band that cared , they even used to prepare toast on stage for the audience !
"Summer Babe" is a pure Summer classic , "No Life Singed Her ", "Zurich is Stained ", "Our Singer " all set out the boundaries for what has become a wierd and wonderful direction for alternative music .The word "classic " is all too often over used, but this album has stood the test of time and fully deserves it.
The best tracks are 'Summer Babe', 'Trigger Cut', 'Zurich is Stained', 'Here' and 'Perfume-V'. But what lies inbetween is the true sound of Pavement: angular, amelodic, punky and tuneful in a tuneless way. And when they wanted to make you feel, you would FEEL. Some of these tracks have more heart than a billion X-Factor ballads.
If you enjoyed the music of the 90s, grunge and indie specifically and also American bands (American Football spring to mind as one such group heavily influenced by Pavement, but great in their own right by turning the sound into what used to be called Emo or post-hardcore but has since been bastardized by the marketing monkeys), have an interest in the history of music and appreciate a song written with passion and intelligence, this album is for you.
Everybody who likes alternative US music or the Americana genre should own it.
The opening track, Summer Babe (Winter Version) is one of my absolute favourites, employing a slight-shoegazer-style haze of layered guitars and Stephen Malkmus's narcoleptic vocal delivery, to create a three-minute blast of perfect pop in the lo-fi tradition. The rest of the album continues on a similar high - sometimes taking the dissonance and rambling deluge of lyrical imagery favoured by Mark E. Smith and the Fall, or sometimes creating lush dream-pop akin to My Bloody Valentine and the Velvets at their most stoned - with songs like Summer Babe and the gorgeous Here almost tripping into a 'ballad-like' territory. Trigger Cut / Wounded-Kite At :17 is slightly more up in tempo (but retains the slightly sleepy sense of detachment from the opening song), with Malkmus almost sleep-talking the vocals over the Television style guitars and free-flowing crescendo of drums. Just when you think the song is about to come to a close, there's a smatter of cooed "la, la, la, la" backing vocals over a choppy-guitar line, then, a burst of funky instrumentation, before the song reaches something of a climax.
No Life Singed Her has a sweet verse melody inter-cut with a screaming ranting bridge/chorus section replete with foul-mouthed backing vocals. It's completely different to the two songs that preceded it, yet, at the same time, seems perfectly at home... switching the tempo constantly and brining in a swamp of layered, distorted, angular guitars. It also leads us into the brilliant In The Mouth A Desert, another personal favourite, and another great song on an album of great songs!!! The vocal delivery here is perfect, whilst the lyrics, drawing on a fragmented stream-of-conscious style (pretty much throughout the album), suggest a lot more than a more naked-style of writing ever could. Lyrically, the album has shades of Dylan at his most free-flowing.. but it also draws more heavily on the bizarre caricatures and darkly-comic nightmare scenarios of Frank Black/Black Francis or The Flaming Lips, whilst also pre-dating the similarly stark lyrical creations that Jeff Mangum would offer-up on his slightly Pavement-esque debut, On Avery Island.
Conduit For Sale! is the greatest Fall song never written by the fall, with the vocal refrain "I'm trying, I'm trying, I'm trying, I'm trying..." juxtaposing with that almost rap-like break in the verse. The drums here are terrific, pounding away as the droning guitar offers contrasting pitches of feedback before slowly enveloping the entire song. Zurich Is Stained is almost surf-rock and almost country simultaneously, without ever loosing that lo-fi Slanted and Enchanted style edge!!! By this point the songs should have captured you completely, with the album dragging us into it's strange and intoxicating little universe through it's bizarre combination of distorted melodies and fractured poetry... constantly mutating and distorting from minute to minute and suggesting a further world of possibilities beneath the static and the hiss. The album manages to waver dangerously from the volatile and threatening minute-long rant Chesley's Little Wrists into the absolute brilliance of Loretta's Scars (yet another favourite of mine), which once again, suggests a melancholic Lou Reed dropping an E, whilst My Bloody Valentine paint colours in his mind (or something like that)!!
Then we have the aforementioned Here, a gorgeous ballad of a song that has cryptic lyrics that only really make sense if you're willing to attach your own sense of pain and failure to them ("and all the sterile striking it defends an empty dock you cast away / and rain upon your forehead where the mist's for hire if it's just too clear / let's spend our last quarter stance randomly / go down / to the outlet once again"). It's just one of those songs that works for me... one that I can put on if feeling blue, and by the end, feel a little more justified, and, in some strange way, uplifted. Fame Thrower is probably the maddest song on the album, with it's high-pitched "la, la, la's" and bizarre lyrics seemingly thrown at the music at random... Then there's the high-pitched guitar wailing and various little electronic drones too!!!
Once again, it's a great song filled with great ideas, and wavering stop-start tempo, which, again, is very Pixies, but at the same time, completely unique. The last two songs draw the album to a close nicely, demonstrating the possibility that through the wavering influences and seemingly improvised bursts of feedback you can have a record that still stands up as a complete and cohesive piece of work. As the All Music Guide states; "Pavement subvert conventional pop structures, turning melodies inside out, reinterpreting and reworking older songs, and bending genres together". No clearer can that ethos be found than on this remarkable classic. Slanted and Enchanted... you will be after hearing this!!
There is no accounting for taste but if you like REM, The Strokes, The Dandy Wharhols, Sleeper, Blur, Suede or bands like them you will probably get a kick out of this.
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