CLONE DEFECTS: Shapes of Venus: CD

I have come to the conclusion that this disc is the work of madmen; that Timmy Vulgar howls like a cross between Darby Crash and perhaps Iggy Pop (except in his more venal moments [“Fill My Fridge”], when he sounds like a cross between Darby and Handsome Dick Manitoba); that this whole unholy consortium of brain-damaged proto-iconic protoplasmic rock iconoclasm is the sonic equivalent of one of those finger paintings made by mentally challenged people that immediately appears to be both a work of abject genius and inarguably worthless, simultaneously. Taken in small chunks, there aren’t really any completely unexpected musical moves thrown at the listener here (except for the production, which is so filled with wig-outs and left turns and monkeyshines and miscellaneous fol-de-rol that it almost brings to mind the proactive eclecticism of the Sgt. Pepper/Pet Sounds era, albeit an order of magnitude removed), it’s just, in the larger picture, all the song parts are stacked, assorted, arranged and mutilated in completely unfathomable fashion, like a Lego™ tower built with the smallest blocks on the bottom and widening as it gets higher. I mean, “Ain’t No New Buzz” starts with fingersnaps over an introduction not dissimilar to that of “Ghosts of Princes in Towers” by the Rich Kids, and the fingersnaps are OFF. Not off with EACH OTHER, off with THE BEAT. And YOU, the listener, will have NO idea whether or not the off-time fingersnaps are a work of demented, evil genius, or merely the product of completely incompetent fingersnappers. Overgrown juvenile delinquents who were too rock-damaged to know that they weren’t supposed to like Guided By Voices peeling wheelies across rockdom’s brain, or just, like, pro wrestlers trying to sound like the Wipers in a smash-up derby? My stodgiest analysis yields few results! AMERICA TAPS OUT IN SURRENDER! TIMMY VULGAR IS THE HARDEST ROCKING CLINT HOWARD STUNT DOUBLE IN NORTH AMERICA! One can’t help but wonder if this is what Flipper would have sounded like had they been a product of the contemporary Detroit scene. Can’t one? BEST SONG: “I Rock I Ran” BEST SONG TITLE: “Ain’t No New Buzz” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: I have also come to the rather troubling conclusion that, for better or worse, Detroit is the new Seattle (why is this so troubling? Well, because, first off, that makes Steve Mariucci the new Mike Holmgren, which in turn might actually make Barry Sanders the new Ahman Green. Needless to say, THAT’S a hell of a thing).

–norb (In The Red)