I'll lay it to you straight, oh, easily duped reader: I don't give a felch about the Minnesota rock phenomenon. A little Mats never hurt anyone, and sure Hüsker Dü can't be ignored. But in my mind the solo work of Paul Westerberg and Bob Mould has catapulted enough dung back at the listening public to sully things a bit. To narrow an entire area down to two bands is, of course, silly; every semi-big city, state, or even town has a family tree of bands the locals will always rave about. Even Spokane, Washington does... sort of... or at least it did before it became Methlehem.
What I'm getting at here is that pseudo-Minneapolis group The Hold Steady can bribe the bloggerati all they want, but they still slurp major hair-sack. Wait, that's not right... I mean, it's right, but it's not what I was getting at. I had it there for a second and lost it, shoot! [close eyes, take piece of gum from wrapper, chew while folding silver gum sheath in neat little shapes] Well, I guess I'm trying to say that I'm sick of hearing this brand of scrappy rock 'n' roll from Minnesota, or from any other locale, for that matter. Shotgun Monday can Drive Like Jehu and launch arrows like Sparta, but they forget one important point: Most of us have moved on. So despite how beautiful the guitar picking on "Proud Flesh" is, it's impossible not to point to "New Math" from Yank Crime and say, "It's done better here broseph." In fact, I even find myself saying that when there's no one else in the room!
And these vocals are just piss-poor. It's ridiculous how easily they pry into my skull and tug at my patience. This CD can play through once, maybe twice before I'm ready to plug the pizza man with bullets. Considering that I'd normally be getting him high, this is saying something. Don't even get me started on the production, either; I'm warning you! It's so bad it could make a baby cry from two towns away. It's so bad I could get a better recording with a wad of used gum, four paper clips, a tongue depressor, an electric shaver, and three book-on-tapes of Edward James Almos reading Charlotte's Web. Don't ask me how, but I'd get it done, AND under budget.
I guess that's about it really. This release just means absolutely nothing to me. How could a label with Deerhoof and Mirah on its release list sign such a dillard of a band? Because one of them used to be in Killsadie and another in Calvin Krime with Sean Tillman (soon to become Har Mar)? Weak sauce, people, weak sauce; not to spit in your plum pudding, but if I bought this at a grocery store, I'd return it without taking more than one grimaced bite.
1. Resting Vessel
3. What Will Burn
4. Joli Rouge
5. Time for a Sandwich
6. Shit Shave Shower Shine
8. Proud Flesh