Right, time to catch up on some stuff that Iíve bought now.Firstly, I may have been a month late getting it, due to having not been shopping during September, but itís that new Pitchshifter UN-UK EP. Features the two new tracks they played live on the last tour. From what I remember of that, Ununited Kingdom was great, Everything Sucks Again wasnít as great. How does my memory fair mewonders? Only one way to find out, and thatís pop the little sucker in the old machine and take a listen. Hmmm. Production isnít as good as I thought it could be. But it may be the point. This feels a lot rawer than recent Pitchshifter has been. Un-united does have a punk feel in that riff, though the guitar solo of course ainít punk. I remember an old punk friend, Bozo, well he werenít real mohawk punk and he was my age, but he knew punk like I didnít at a time when all todays current punks were actually metalheads like me. Either that or still in their nappies. Anyway, the point of what I was going to say, word was that punk didnít have guitar solos and didnít like guitar solos. Guitar solos, were the work of the devil, cos they were metal and we all know that metal is the work of the devil. And punk and metal should never be mentioned in the same breath. Or some such crap. So yeah, thereís a bit of a guitar widdle in there, but still the meat of the song is good. Rawer less technologically dependant, yet still retaining that Pitchshifter crossover touch. And JS is getting that John Lydon sneeeeeeer pretty accurate now.
Everything Sucks Again starts out feeling like its on the wrong speed. Just feels like itís too slow, like their deliberately having to keep a check on the thing. Itís another example of how consistent the band has become, knowing how to pen a tune that builds to a decent sing-a-long chorus. And this time feeling like itís nicked a riff that originally started with Zeppelin and has been through the mill a few times since then. Good but couldíve been better.
Next is the Big Black cover Kerosene. Well at least it was a b-side - other bands/labels take note. It's a good song and a good rendition. Finally the title track remix. Yeah, a remix. Sounds redundant to me.
But hey, the new album should hopefully be an absolute cracker. Canít wait for that one.
And at the same time as buying the new Pitchshifter EP and the Unida album, I picked up a copy ofNine Inch Nails with The Fragile. Might as well state my position at the start. Not a big NIN fan. Though curious enough to buy this obviously. Pretty Hate Machine, yeah, not bad, bit more electronicy than I normally listen to, but ok. Downward Spiral. Never got me head round that one. Some good stuff. But too long. The remix albums - yeah right, like Iíve gone and bought those. Reznor - yeah, talented, but a genius? Hmmm. Sometimes we heap praise too readily on people. And I do that myself. So come on the Reznor mate, five years or whatever in the making, anticipated album of the year award etc. Prove yourself then.
First thing is that Iím not sure he does himself favours with a double CD set. Oh yeah, we all love it, cos thereís "so much new stuff to listen to" and all that gumpf. But like most bands that fill a CD to itís capacity, such an enormous amount of music often means that some crap filters through in the process. Plus Iím the sort of person that likes to listen to a CD all the way through. Sure, I sometimes focus on one or two songs, and set them on repeat-stun-kill mode, but generally I want to enjoy the whole of the album. Long albums make that difficult. Double CDs, well, itís going to be tricky. And itís against "the whole thing" that I tend to judge things. So, itís a maybe slippery start here.
First disc is called Left. Ah, I like it when stuff gets arty. Or condescending. Wonder when a band will put one out calling it shit and arse. Nope, that would be honesty. Never gonna happen. Anyway, Left has ooh 13 tracks, 54 minutes. And to me, well itís just NIN. I donít hear anything that is gobsmackingly jawdroppingly gagagoogoo in nature. Maybe Iím not supposed to. Maybe it says everything about me that the absolute standout track to me is Weíre In This Together. A track that is rock at itís centre. Driving bassline and guitar for the chorus. Reznor strains on the vocals in a positive way, and itís a really good song. But itís also probably the most mainstream thing here. Some of the other stuff, well itís typical NIN, but it doesnít have the claws to grab me. Sometimes itís just dull and boring. No, You Donít is the other highlight for me from the first CD, another hard driving song.
The Right CD does little for me. More electronic sounding, the obvious standout is the Mansonesque Starfuckers Inc, destined Iím sure to be a club favourite, due to the chant. Elsewhere Where Is Everybody has a big drone going on in it, but a lot of this feels like a big drone at the moment.
So me, Iíll go against the grain I guess and say that this isnít the mindbending monster some will have you believe. Well not if youíve never been a big fan. Maybe I need to persist with it. Another example maybe of an album that should be reviewed after 6 months, not 6 listens. And it shouldnít have been a double CD.