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Feast of guitars
on 24 April 2010
This album was released in 1987, which was not exactly the era of heavy guitars. The album packs considerable wallop and a great guitar sound. It roars out of the blocks with Little Fury Things, which sets the tone for the album. J Mascis plays some great crunching guitar riffs, though his singing (whining) is almost laughably out of tune! Towards the end of the song it becomes drenched in feedback, a trick they repeat on quite a few of these.
The formula just kind of works, Mascis plays heavy, distorted riffs, with a cleaner line accompanying them, and Lou Barlow's bass bounces along trying to keep up. Sludgefeast is particularly notable, with ten tons of guitar riff providing a superb anthem, though on this one Mascis' vocals can barely be called singing! Towards the end of the song another almost metallish riff comes in for the end of the song.
The Lung sounds like the Lemonheads might have been listening at the beginning of their career before Evan Dando discovered country. The song plods along nicely before drummer Murph decides it's not fast enough and speeds things up, and the other instruments kind of shamble up to the same tempo. There's some lovely guitar work on this one, particularly towards the end.
Tarpit is another very strong song. Murph's drums sound cavernous at the beginning before the riff properly kicks in and bludgeons the listener into submission (in a good way). Like a lot of tracks here, it's a basic two chord riff but it sounds enormous. Lose has screaming guitars and screaming vocals, both at breakneck speed.
Poledo is a total misstep, it's a Lou Barlow track which sounds like a home recording. Mainly acoustic, it's a mess, the sort of `experiment' that should never see the light of day.
They also do a version of The Cure's Just Like Heaven, with much heavier guitars and even dodgier vocals. It kind of works, though their treatment of the bridge is almost pure heavy metal, and Cure-heads should probably avoid it!
It's a great feast of guitars, one to file away with Crazy Horse (especially with Mascis' whining married to the heavy guitars), the Stooges' Raw Power and even Sonic Youth.