Thursday, 2 October 2008

Tom = BAD

I've taken my eye off the ball. I'm sorry. I'm only human. I have needs, and those needs force my life to revolve around having money to feed them. So I've been applying and interviewing for jobs all around the last couple of weeks. That equals no posts, no gigs, no reviews, no life. Alright, fair point. I didn't have a life anyway, but you get the picture.

But reviews are coming. Records have arrived, and others will soon be arriving. A Tom Morello: Nightwatchman review is lined up for DiS, and I'll be editing the shit out of it if it goes up. Some of it is a bit sixth form; for a critic I hate being super critical. When I am, it goes a bit Harsh Shark. But some albums are musical landmines. You'll look down from 200ft and realise you've been blown away. Sometimes, you'll just step down hard into something you'd much rather not have stepped in. Can you guess which type of album the Morello effort is yet?

Have got the PopShop album today. Full review is pending on here, tomorrow, definitely.

In the meantime, here is the highlight of a charity shop trawl....

When I was a little kid, I had a deep and abiding love for American soft rock. I never got into class A stuff like Toto and Journey. But I was never far away. There were lots of rock compilations doing the rounds in the late Eighties and early Nineties. The Soft Metal series was a benchmark, and very few comps even got close to the love that one got on my sister's record deck. The hair band pictures on the sleeve were something to behold. I remember a picture of Ozzy doing that scary Ozzy face hid did, with mounds of bouffant hairnestling on his head. Poor bastard probably didn't even know what day of the week it was.

One of my favourite comps from this period (heheheh. ahem) was Rock of America. It nestled warmly in my unformed worldview. America was a good place, where nothing bad happened. The statue of Liberty did play guitar, everyone wore light blue denim, and loved Bruce Springsteen. Even though I didn't know who Bruce Springsteen was in 1989, I was sure they loved him. I often confused him with Rick Springfield. Did they ever confuse each other, some days waking up just to find they were living each others lives? Probably, probably. Perhaps they even left each other notes. "Loving your work, Big Man". "I want my life back, Rick!". Maybe Rick even woke up after having a dream, looked under the covers as sinister music played, and pulled out one of Springsteens hats. Maybe.

Regardless of this crossover potential, his big hit single in the states was one of the best things on this comp. "Jessie's Girl" is The Last Picture Show set to keyboard infused pop rock, a tale of a boy lusting after the girl of his best friend. Part of me wants to believe that Springfield pulled this from his own experience, and that he actually is a mixture of morally bankrupt toad and sleazy Patrick Bateman in real life.

Jessie's Girl - Rick Springfield

This whole comp was totally mint, with two obvious exceptions. Gary US Bonds' abysmal take on classic rock and roll, 'This Little Girl' is unworthy of any further discussion. And 'Rosanna' by Toto, the musical equivalent of a jam sandwich buttered with with lard. You get that sweet sugary taste, but, euurgh, god, fuck, someone has put lard in this sandwich! This song clogs arteries at twenty paces. This song kills anyone in earshot. It doesn't even care, and it goes on for about five minutes too long.

But it doesn't matter, because I had this on tape, and they'd gotten around to creating fast forward buttons for Walkmen by then. And you can see how good the rest of the tracklisting is...
Maneater - Hall & Oates
Centrefold - J.Geils Band
Some Weird Sin - Iggy Pop

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