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Profile for M. Rothenberg > Reviews

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Reviews Written by
M. Rothenberg "Roff" (London)

Page: 1
So Tonight That I Might See
So Tonight That I Might See
Price: £5.75

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Look, I've never been to the American deep south..., 11 July 2009
... but if I were to go, to wander in the fields in the pitch black night lit with only the huge, hovering moon to protect my path forwards? As I pushed my way through the waist high corn, slightly drunk in the mid summer humidity, if I were in love and yearning another? This album would do just fine as a soundtrack.

Less 'aggressive' and feedbacky than their first album and not quite as acoustic as their last; there are plucked strings, drones and dead-pan vocals aplenty to make this for me Mazzy Star's best and the one I'd recommend you to seek out (at least at first - then get the other two).

The Sontaran Experiment
The Sontaran Experiment
Price: £11.24

4.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't quite fit any genre, 15 Jun. 2009
This review is from: The Sontaran Experiment (Audio CD)
Named after a particularly grim 70's Dr Who serial The Sontaran Experiment consists of 3 20 minute 'songs' battered with some gusto out of guitar, bass and drums, swathed in electronics and feedback and covered with harsh shrieks and screams.

The album is not quite metal, not really punk or noise and doesn't fit the prog bill either but exists somewhere inbetween them all. At times there are chilled out, hypnotic sections with lilting piano, at others great walls of blastbeats and untuned in radio static white noise.

Surprisingly complelling, exhilliratingly shocking, never boring.

The Grimmrobe Demos
The Grimmrobe Demos
Offered by skyvo-direct
Price: £11.87

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like an looking across an Arctic landscape, 13 Oct. 2007
This review is from: The Grimmrobe Demos (Audio CD)
I first listened to this CD on headphones whilst reading John W. Campbells' 'Who goes there?' (the book both Howard Hawks 'The Thing from another world' and, probably more to the point, John Carpenter's 'The Thing' were based on). Long, hideously down-tuned and droning chords that last for minutes at a time swell into 'songs' lasting to the 15 minute mark. Like a thunderclap slowed down to the point of lasting forever. No vocals, no drums. Cold, oh so cold, paranoid, filled with horror, alien... Classic Sunn o)))

Velvet Hammer
Velvet Hammer
Offered by all my music
Price: £26.59

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Before Riot Grrl, before Hole..., 19 Nov. 2006
This review is from: Velvet Hammer (Audio CD)
I recently re-bought this CD after owning it on vinyl since I was a spotty teenager. It was purchased as a bit of an impulse after I saw a sorta 10 record-ideal-Scrawl-playlist-type-thing that appeared in Melody Maker which contained some of my own favourite stuff of the time (Jesus Lizard, Moonshake, the Fall, MBV, etc if I recall correctly).

As you'd probably imagine it is tightly, almost sparsely recorded and there are very few 'thrills' on the record. The music itself, while still powerful, is disarmingly simple and repetative but all the same has an edge to it that causes the heart to flutter a bit at various times for various different reasons. It's Marcy and Sue's lyrics though that hit the real emotional spot though. The anger of the 'Take a swing' and 'Prize', the sadness and longing of 'Blue green sea'. and the heartbreaker that is 'Tell me now boy'.

I went to go and see Scrawl at (what used to be) the Powerhaus in Islington many, many moons ago and there was me, about three other paying punters and a dog in the audience (ok I was exaggerating about the dog but the rest is true!) and the band were obviously disappointed with the poor showing. So was I. Scrawl never got the recognition they richly deserved while they were around; let's put that right in retrospect!!

Offered by Disco100
Price: £19.96

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It was either this or 'Liar'..., 13 July 2006
This review is from: Head (Audio CD)
I bought the Jesus Lizard's "break through" album 'Liar' many moons ago (on cassette! Gawd, I'm so old!!) and was just stunned by its huge, unabashed nastiness. Of course I then had no choice but to rush out and buy all their other stuff as well!

I remember seeing the Lizard live in London (at the Garage I think) and they were being supported by Scrawl. The crowd were strangely quiet (not even any idiots shouting "get your tits out"... Oh hold on, I could be wrong about that) and despite poor Marcy May trying to gee them up the assembled punters just cowered back, looking sullenly into their collective pints. At the sets end she taunted "Aw, what's the matter? You afraid of the big, bad Jesus Lizard?". And y'know what? If we weren't then we bleedin' well should have been!

Like the Birthday Party, Gallon Drunk, Big Black and an alternate universe, evil counterpart, straight-edge shunning, pissed up Fugazi having a punch up in a seedy strip joint, the Lizard were equal parts intricate power and scuzz. This is all topped off by David Yow's brilliantly inventive "singing" style... somewhat akin to listening to someone throwing up in the cubicle next to yours at a punk gig methinks (these are good things ok?).

As I said, I could have picked 'Liar' to review but 'Head' gets it coz you get the 'Pure' ep free (the last 5 songs - I have it on coloured vinyl don'tyaknow) and contains songs about waking up in a pool of your own urine, deranged psycho-killers, incest and in 'If you had lips' Yow directing a love song towards his own bottom.

Come to the dark side...

The Fire In Our Throats Will Beckon The Thaw
The Fire In Our Throats Will Beckon The Thaw

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not heavy, not metal, not post-rock... but great!!, 1 Jun. 2006
Why everyone keeps on about how this album is heavy I just don't know! I don't deny that it rocks and is jam packed full of riffs (the intro to 'March to the Sea' makes me want to headbang for the first time since I was a teen) but I defy anyone to listen to the beginning of 'Autumn Into Summer', the untitled 4th track or 'Aurora Borealis' and say that they aren't beautiful, beautiful peices of warm, gentle music.

What do Pelican sound like? Imagine both Helmet and Black Sabbath in reflective moods and getting together on a mountain top overlooking a vast, panoramic vista to play Godspeed You! Black Emperor cover versions!

Or maybe not...

Dont Ask Dont Tell
Dont Ask Dont Tell
Price: £45.08

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blues-punk-rock... but cool!, 12 April 2006
This review is from: Dont Ask Dont Tell (Audio CD)
Buy this album if you think the image (if not the actual lifestyle) of long, whiskey soaked nights in smokey bars, suckin' on Marlboro after Marlboro, mourning lost love and heartbreak while the freezing winter wind screams outside is a cool thing. This record is for me Come's best (although everything they did was great) with Thalia Zedek's rasping yet tender vocals and Chris Brokaw's jittery, mercurial slide guitar being propelled along at speed by the watertight bass and drums of Sean and Arthur. Buy this for a tragically cheap price, put it on and, when the guitars kick in like a pitch black 747 coming down with engine trouble half way through 'Finish Line', tell me this ain't the best you've had! Then go out and buy '11:11' and 'Gently down the stream' coz the blues told you to.


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Why am I the first one to write a review?..., 18 Mar. 2006
This review is from: Hex (Audio CD)
...of this beautiful, beautiful album.

From the that very first gentle, lush piano at the beginning of 'The Loom' all the way to the slo-mo fall away of 'Pendulum man' via quiet funk of 'Big Shot', the fractured pre post-rock of 'Fingersplit' and the out and out gorgeousness of 'Eyes and Smiles' this is LP with no filler, just brilliant, brilliant music.

The sound of walking home across urban greenbelt land with the noise of busy traffic just within ear shot in the early hours of a hot summer's night!

Xanthe Terra [Us Import]
Xanthe Terra [Us Import]
Price: £11.18

4.0 out of 5 stars A wandering type of desolate lovely., 16 Aug. 2005
I ordered this album after reading a very flattering review in a magazine and when it arrived I wasn't disappointed. Mr Schmidt has made an album of deftly plucked and chimeing acoustic guitar strings to create an atmosphere of windswept beauty (without an amp or an effects pedal in sight!!).

Apparently the CD was created to accompany an imaginary walk over the plains of Mars (hence the title - latin for red land (even though I always thought Xanthe was yellow!!)) but because of the subtle shifts in mood and tones it could be the perfect Walkman companian for a busy bus/tube journey, a quiet night in with a good book or anywhere in between.

If you're thinking of buying this I urge you to place your order without any further hesitation. I'm the kinda guy who likes 'landscape post-rock' such as Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Explosions In The Sky, Sigur Ros, Mogwai and this fits right in there with that kinda feel. I wasn't sure I'd like it either but now I have it I can't stop listening to the bleeder! Do it now before it becomes hard to find.

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