Steely Dan UHQR Series

Music Reviews: Rock

November 4th, 2022

An Extended Suite For Musical Insanity

From the archives: Michael Fremer reviews Mr. Bungle's 'Disco Volante'

By: Michael Fremer

(This review originally appeared in Issue 7, Spring 1996.)An extended suite for musical insanity and sonic meatcleaver that mutates The Bonzo Dog Band, Spike Jones, Nino Rota, Frank Zappa, Alvin Cash, The Art Of Noise, surf music, exotica, industrial heavy metal sludge, the tango, methedrine, Metallica, Don Van Vliet, and just plain old fashioned wise-assery into a rip roaring roller coaster ride through a double E ticket musical and sonic fun house. That these guys... Read More

October 23rd, 2022

Analogue Productions' "Stand Up" Reissue Stands Up to Time Musically and Sonically

cut all-analog at 45rpm from original master tapes

By: Michael Fremer

Jethro Tull is this weird guy with an old man fetish, who fronts a rock band playing the flute while standing on one leg. That’s what we thought. He made weird noises too, while playing flute standing on one leg. A few who knew Rahsaan Roland Kirk’s music knew from where came this old standing on one leg guy’s flute sound (and noticed the credit on the first side ending cover of Kirk’s “Serenade to a Cuckoo”), but there was no Internet and news traveled slowly back then, so Jethro Tull he was until he was Ian Anderson fronting a band called Jethro Tull. Jethro Tull the man was an 18th century agriculturalist/inventor.

Read More

genre Rock Blues Rock format Vinyl

October 10th, 2022

Viagra Boys' 'Cave World' Says Nothing New

The Swedish band's attempts at satire are unconvincing, and 'Cave World' ends up representative of modern political music's broader problem

By: Malachi Lui

The absurdity of any culture is probably best seen from the outside, but by someone with first-hand experience inside of it. On paper, this puts Sebastian Murphy, tattoo artist by day and frontman of Swedish post-punk/dance-punk band Viagra Boys, in a perfect position to comment on the far-right’s increasing presence in America; born and raised in the US, Murphy knows America, but living in Sweden would give him a more distanced view. In execution, however, Viagra... Read More

genre Rock Dance-Punk format Vinyl

October 1st, 2022

Every Audiophile Needs This Lou Reed Live Album!

Lou Reed talks, and talks, and talks... in glorious binaural sound!

By: Malachi Lui

As I paid $25 for an original US copy of Lou Reed’s 1978 live album Take No Prisoners, my local record shop owner said, “Enjoy it, man, I’ve never seen this record before. Plus it’s a promo.” Indeed it is: not only is there a sticker from Arista denoting it a DJ copy originally loaned for promotional use only, but there’s also a bold red hype sticker reading “SPECIALLY PRICED TWO-RECORD SET—All the raw excitement of Lou Reed-Live,” with quotes from the Chicago... Read More

October 1st, 2022

Royal Trux, David Briggs, Burn Rock and Roll To a Crisp with Thank You

The Final Album from Legendary Producer and Neil Young Cohort David Briggs is Giant and Perfect

By: Joshua Smith

Neil Hagerty and Jennifer Herrema, the duo that formed Royal Trux in the late '80s, don't look or sound like one of the smartest bands of all time. I saw them open for Pavement at the Roxy Theater in Atlanta in 1997. The two looked like they had escaped from the pages of an R. Crumb comic book. Singer Jennifer Herrema 's long pale arm was wrapped with black leather straps like some kind of profane arm-tefillah. Neal Hagerty had his back toward the... Read More

September 17th, 2022

Supergrass' Ambitious And Likeable 'I Should Coco'

From the archives: Michael Fremer's original review of Supergrass' 'I Should Coco'

By: Michael Fremer

(This review originally appeared in Issue 7, Spring 1996.)It was only a matter of time before an alternative to “alternative” music’s dreary sound would emerge, and over the past few months it has—in the form of Britpop, with bands like Oasis, Pulp and Supergrass gaining not just “underground” popularity, but major chart action—something the last British wave, the “Manchester sound,” never achieved.Of all the bands leading the new British pop invasion, the one I find... Read More

genre Rock Britpop format CD