Saturday, 16 August 2008



Surprisingly menacingly sounding, this is Pavement in superior mode.  Maybe Malkmus was angry in its construction, angry like me as I buy this CD on eBay for pounds only to discover one of those unmoveable Cash Converters stickers on the back of the case with permanent marker attempting to disguise the fact that the disc was for sale (sold) for 10p.

“Brick Wall”.

Released on 25 November 1992 in between Slanted And Enchanted and Crooked Rain Crooked Rain it marked the on record debuts of both Bob Nastanovich and Mark Ibold (Spiral Stairs had previously played bass on S&E).

“Sick Profile”.

It arrives and expansive and shaking.  “Texas Never Whispers” initially resembles the sound of an alien invasion with broken streams of distortion and noise until the song looms into a menacing strobe.  Without missing a beat Malkmus reels off a shopping list of pointy observations and relations until the band and music finally catches up and repetition kicks in.  There is a warm hum to such nastiness.

The drift persists with “Frontwards” and what initially appears a pleasant drive before resorting back to a slow, bodeful approach.  It has a hook in defeat.

“Annual Report”.

“Lions (Linden)” opens with a plink then a plonk as a roaming baseline steers a jagged bout of guitar noodling as Malkmus meanders with his wording.  Both bent and linear.  Its Trumans Water territory.

Closing on a happy note the misleadingly titled “Shoot The Singer (1 Sick Verse)” is a mellow outro, a calm jaunt that exudes a placid weariness.  There are riddles in these scribbles.  It closes on the mantra “don’t expect, don’t expect”.

Further enhancing their fractured demeanour the rooster “Jim” artwork is actually a defaced cover of the self titled album by a lost band called Ambergris and not Old MacDonald’s Farm as vaguely stated.

Thesaurus moment: fortify.

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