Marilyn Manson – Eat Me, Drink Me
Rock / Alternative / Industrial
Hi, I’m Good Jeff, and it’s been four years since his last album, The Golden Age of Grotesque (though they scored their biggest single with “Personal Jesus” in 2004, off of the Lest We Forget greatest hits compilation), and since its release Mr. Brian Warner has kept himself in the public eye with art gallery openings, Justin Timberlake covers and a failed marriage with alt-pin-up goddess Dita Von Teese. He told reporters earlier in the year, “This is the record I’ve worked all my life to get to. You always have to transform, or you can’t continue as an artist, and this record has been the biggest transformation for me.” Described by Manson himself as a strict collaboration between himself and Tim Skold, it’s considerably more melodic than the earlier, fingernails-on-the-chalkboard material of years past. It still has some of the trademark Manson elements, but the music and vocals are certainly catchier than usual without sounding to poppy. “If I Was Your Vampire” kicks off the album well, with a dark, brooding tone, though it segues into “Holes in Your Happiness”, which certainly is more melodic and is a good thesis for the entire album. Flagship single “Heart-Shaped Glasses (When the Heart Guides the Hand)” employs a drum roll reminiscent of Napoleon XIV’s “They’re Coming to Take Me Away Ha-Haaa!” while Manson sings over the musical equivalent of if Franz Ferdinand and Feindflug had a kid. And yes, the album does have a more romantic feel to it, as Manson himself said that the content reflects “the unfulfilled yearning to be in another time or another place where you feel like you would fit in better.” Yeah, if I had just been dumped Dita Von Teese, I’d probably be feeling the same way too.
Hi, I’m Evil Jeff, and Good Jeff, you can go f*ck yourself. Seriously. Where do you get off giving this guy three-and-a-half machine-guns? It’s very obviously that he’s once again posing off of Trent Reznor by firing most of his band and trying to “reshape” the scene by going in a completely different direction. I’ll take the grittier early material over this any day. In fact, I’d rather to listen to racehorse being slaughtered than have to hear this thing again. I hope all you goth pricks are happy. Your hero has just shown that he is just another pretentious cunt musician who’d rather entertain himself to make more music for you to cut yourself to.
2Tall Presents Dudley Perkins and Georgia Anne Muldrow – Beautiful Mindz
Electric Breaks/Amalgam Entertainment (6/12/07)
Hip-hop / Downtempo
[Editor’s Note: The image above is not of the album cover. I could not for the life of me find that image anywhere. Instead, you get Dudley Perkins-related spot art.]
The first track I heard from Dudley Perkins was the throwback-soul-meets-spoken-word track “Falling”, which appeared on the fantastic Stones Throw Ten Years comp. A guy I work with said that Perkins sounds like Common, while I’d probably liken him more to another Chicago legend by the name of J.U.I.C.E., who sounds like a grittier version of Common. So, yeah, the Common thing is there. Muldrow is comparable to Leonie Laws of Breakbeat Era, as she appears first on the intro track, a funky number that is quickly taken over by Perkins. He pretty much owns the album, switching up between spoken word on “Atall”, “Newniss” and “U R”, and rapping on “Mic Check”, “A Beautiful Mind”, “Fonkwitme” and “Poet Past the Week”. Whatever he’s doing, it’s damn good stuff. Muldrow has very few chances to shine on the album, though, and I’d be interested to have heard her play a bigger part in the collaboration. The beats are great, and most of them are straight up retro-jazzy-soul gems (think Madlib with less Melvin Van Peebles samples), but it’s more or less a DJ 2Tall and Dudley Perkins collabo with a few cameos by Muldrow. She didn’t need to be credited as she is, and she also needs to find a jungle producer. I don’t think Roni Size is doing anything important these days… But anyhow, yes, this album is the shit and you should buy it now. Yes, you too, Mathan.
Are you kidding me? You couldn’t find an image of this album? And it’s been out for a f*cking week already? Jeff, I think that the label making their assets so difficult to find is a telltale sign that you shouldn’t be wasting your time on this crap. And liking this J.U.I.C.E.? Please. You just wanted to try and create some buzz over a six-year-old album cover that you designed [Editor’s Note: Here‘s that cover he’s talking about, and yes, I did design it.]. Have you gotten any graphic design work since then? Huh, jackass? I mean, besides the American Bar Association and logos for MachineGunFunk.com and PopcornJunkies.com? Okay, I’m done. All of this shameless self-promotion is making me thirsty, and I’ve got a SeÃ±orial in the fridge that’s calling my name.
The Junior Varsity – Cinematographic
Victory Records (6/19/07)
Emo / Alternative
These guys opened for The Academy Is…, who opened up for Panic! at the Disco, so I was getting ready to projectile vomit after the first track. I mean, come on, there’s a guy with a lifejacket-type tech vest on the CD inlay. But alas, while I was not necessarily pleased by what I heard, I was not disgusted either. Re vocalist Asa Dawson’s voice, it’s certainly emo, but it’s actually palatable, and not whiny. It’s closer to something like Rivers Cuomo from Weezer or that guy from Hey Mercedes whose name I don’t feel like looking up. Songs like “The Greatest” and “The Sky” are good for what they are, while we get the obligatory ballad in songs like the ethereal “Wunderdrug” and “Lifted”. Nothing on the album is sad enough to make one cry (in both popular meanings of word), while there are a few pretty decent pop tracks that should have the teenage girls’ Hello Kitty panties moist enough to give them reason to buy the album. How do I know that teenage girls wear Hello Kitty panties, you ask? Shut up.
Jeff, just f*cking admit it right now. You’ve been bought out. You’ve decided to turn into Blender magazine; instead of rating everything with the appropriate good or bad rating, you’re just giving everything a middle-of-the-road rating in order not to upset the labels. You’ve become the musical equivalent of Rick Scaia. Jesus Christ, I am really, really ashamed of you. There is no way in Hell that this abomination could have possibly earned those three machine-guns by failing to suck as many testes as every other emo album out there. That’s it. I’m out of here. Seriously. Find someone else to jaw with on that last album.
Tomahawk – Anonymous
Ipecac Recordings (6/19/07)
Rock / Metal / Alternative / Experimental
While Faith No More enjoyed a relatively large fanbase, most music fans either love or hate the various Patton projects like the avant-garde FantÃ´mas and the highly esoteric, experimental alt-metal groups Mr. Bungle and Tomahawk. Keeping with that esoteric tradition, Anonymous does not disappoint. The vast, grumbling opening track, “War Song”, is like something out of Battleship Potemkin, while “Mescal Rite 1” is a tribal-infused song that reflects a decidedly Native American influence. And most of the album does, for that matter, which tracks like “Totem”, “Ghost Dance” and “Song of Victory”. Guitarist Duane Denison told reporters that while touring with Hank Williams III several years back, he found himself on several Native American reservations, and recorded from transcriptions of various ritual tracks that he uncovered in books from the early 20th century, adding the trademark Tomahawk sound. “Long, Long Weary Day” also visits the same time periods, though it’s more of country-western parlor song. All in all, this is an intriguing musical project in which the bands covered and reinterpreted several uncredited tracks, which is where the album gets its name. It will not be a very widely appreciated album, but for those who are open-minded enough to check it out and really listen to it, you will be rewarded.
All right, all right… I’m back for this one and this one only. Then I’m so out of here. So, that said, f*ck this one. This album had me falling asleep halfway into the first track. Who booked this shit? Now I really am out of here.