The anti-Christs of pop are back. The Residents are supposed to be four souls strong, but who's to say when their album is just done by a guy and a girl? We don't know who/what they are, they claim to be sexless, and no one has a clue to their identity except for their agent. Why are they so secretive? Perhaps if you came up with this kind of music, you'd hesitate before giving out your social security # too. What raw nerve! They aren't are progressive in nature as, well, progressive groups. Even prog-heads don't know what to say to describe them except weird. True, when any album opens with an electric dance, 'Constantinople', in which the country voice at the helm exclaims, 'Here I come, Constantinople' several times, you have to wonder, 'What?' But try as you might, if you have any sense of the unordinary, you can Not tear yourself away from this stuff. 'Bach Is Dead' is a simple rhythm and chant, with a squeaky wagon (maybe) used to underline the slight melody. And then 'Elvis and His Boss' takes us to the high school practice session, with weird flooglehorn (maybe), strangled guitar, that little Fisher Price xylophone you pull by the string and it makes a noise (maybe), electric horns of various forms of camouflage, where the 'Constantinople' tune is rewaxed for humorous slips. This re-release from the great East Side Digital label is actually a combination of 2 EPS; The Residents' 5th album, Duck Stab, and the Buster & Glen EP, released in 1977. Snakefinger shows up to sing and play now and then, but there ain't much guitar, it's all the usual Residents' reigning fire and burpstone upon poor suspecting fans who know that tracks like 'Semolina' are less about seashores and more about (insert guess here). 14 tracks on a train ride from here to Crazyassland. It's nightmare music without actually turning the least bit gothic. There's something wonderfully rough and tumble about The Residents; and about yourself for continuing to like this stuff. Sort of like bar-b-q corn chips. You know they aren't doing a thing for you, but you just Have to have more.
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