Critical Writings

Articles and Reviews: MUSIC

Real Emotional Trash
by Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks (Domino)

The ex-Pavement man comes up with a winner for his fourth solo album, largely because he now has a bunch of players around him who can realise his ideas. Not that the material isn’t consistently interesting too, from the jazzy, improvisatory feel of opener ‘Dragonfly Pie’, or the title track, to the garage-proggy mash-up of ‘Baltimore’. or single ‘Gardenia’. Songs don’t end when you think they’re going to, melodies are bent out of shape, with angular, unpredictable arrangements. Sonic Youth would be the nearest reference point, but this is even more fluid, like a less staccato Tom Verlaine. In short, it’s something of a ‘jam’ album, but without entirely abandoning structure. Still, if three minutes is your cut off attention span, you might want to look elsewhere.

First published in Magill, June/July 2008

















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