Wow, that Jim Diamond can truly make chicken salad out of chicken shit; that’s for damn sure. Big barnyard drums, high-pitched reverb-drenched vocals, and tinny slabs of guitar all work to make this seem like some improbably successful marriage of mid/late ‘70s NYC/Rhode Island art rock (Patti Smith, Television, Talking Heads [minus the lame stuff] [actually, if you subtract the lame stuff from the Talking Heads, what exactly is it that you would be left with???]) and those newfangled garage-reductionists that the kids dig so (“newfangled” in this case to be taken to mean “without a bass guitar for some inexplicable reason” a la the Reatards and/or Strite Whipes), and, against my better judgment, i am compelled to admit that the first fifty percent of this record does not suck—in fact, i would even go so far as to say it’s “kinda good,” although i’d just as soon not have that quote traced back this way if at all possible. After what, by all reasonable calculations, is the WORST friggin’ Teenage Head cover of all time (“Picture My Face” yet! How exactly does one fuck up “Picture My Face”??? Wait, don’t tell me, i’d just as soon use my imagination [although they did get the lead right]), the record descends into the bowels (at bare minimum, the renal ureters) of irreconcilable hogwash and yuck and i lose immersion. If you buy this, you’re definitely going to want it on vinyl, so you can play side A during parties and idly etch stuff into side B when you don’t feel like showering the next morning. BEST SONG: “Don’t Turn Me Up” BEST SONG TITLE: “Chainsaw” worked well for the Ramones FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: “Smash the Whites with the Red Wedge” is one of my favorite Constructivist artworks. ALTERNATE FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Worst liner notes EVER.
–norb (In The Red)