Assumer Guide: Dead Rats And Blood-Red Nails
As Consumer Guide creator Robert Christgau once noted, there is so much recorded media coming forth every day, the idea that one would be able to listen to all of it is physically impossible. So we’ve taken the sage advice of gonzo rock writer Richard Meltzer to heart. Meltzer, ever the curmudgeon, considered promo albums precious commodities–provided you didn’t break the shrinkwrap on ’em, as doing so reduced their resale value. After the click-through, SXSW outlaw Andy Beta judges four new albums without even cracking open their covers.
PICK–Gui Boratto: Chromophobia (Kompakt) Just when you thought it was safe, Kazakhstanian prankster Borat returns under his newest guise, as a Portuguese techno producer whose names translates to “that Borat guy.” As he got a rodeo arena full of Americans to cheer on their own “war of terror,” so too does the wily “Boratto” get dancefloors of gay men across Germany to stomp and goose-step to songs promoting homophobia and racism (“Chromophobia”). One rave anthem promotes secret tribunals (“The Verdict”), while another (“Beautiful Life”) is crassly based on that feel-good concentration camp movie, Life is Beautiful. A
Adult.: Why Bother? (Thrill Jockey) How best to answer such deliciously posited rhetorical questions as this (see also: Are You Gonna Go My Way?)? It’s not surprising to have Adult. deal with such dead conceits as electroclash and capitalism as they do on their third album. Here they abruptly swap out their ARPs for freak-folk’s autoharps, electric jugs and acoustic guitars–all the earmarks of Commie folk ballads, the kinds you hear bleating out of those Irish pubs and Brattleboro communes. From the blood-red nails to the dangling scythes to a hanging sheaf of wheat, this disc is chock-full of such pinko jingoism as “The Mythology of Psychosis” (dissing fascists like Jung) and of course, “The Importance of Being Folk.” A-
RTX Western Exterminator (Drag City) Waif-ish Calvin Klein model and goat skull jeweler Jennifer Herrema, like so many pin-ups before her, decides that she too can make rock music. And still not over an old pretentious flame, she went so far as to name her band after him (arty ex-, geddit?). He must’ve hated speed metal, as she overcompensates on her second album, surrounding herself with Skid Row-quoting heshers. Herrema is torn between the feral and the cerebral, overthinking Slayer as well as Thin Lizzy’s Live and Dangerous, thinking them some sort of rodenticide. Though she has enough bitterness intact that–to misquote the album closer–she will kill Ratt. B+
DUD–Slim Thug Presents Boss Hogg Outlawz: Serve & Collect (Koch) Conservative pundits gripe that hip-hop is only about materialism (cue Photoshopped flurry of Andrew Jacksons) but little about its loathing image of self reaches these talking heads. And as ’80s electro keybs and crack has returned to hip-hop, so has Ethiopian chic. Houstonian Slim Thug and his friends are a case in point, being obsessed with both pushing weight (read: fad diets) and appearing painfully emaciated in their oversized tees (see also: “Little” Wayne and Bow Wow). Unbeknownst to even bloggers is Outlawz’s brazen flashing of their servitude to the game via severed fingers. Who knew that this is what was meant by chopped and screwed? C+
Earlier: Assumer Guide archives