Category Archives: CD

The Jazz Butcher • The Highest in the Land [CD, LP]

The Highest in the Land – knowing Pat Fish, probably some kind of an in-joke – is the latest album from the late musician/singer/ songwriter who dubbed himself THE JAZZ BUTCHER. Recorded last year as Fish was in his last few months on dry land (it seems he knew he was, errr, shipping out soon), it’s a fitting endpiece to a discography of some of the greatest recordings to ever be called “alternative,” “new wave,” “college rock” (here in the States) or whatever else the rock scribes of the day came up with. “Dazzling,” “clever,” “catchy” and many other adjectives can be applied to most everything he ever put out, and this one’s definitely all of that.

The Jazz Butcher (as in, “I want to see the man in charge!”) had been recording his hooky, peculiar tunes since his debut LP, Bath of Bacon, and 45, “Southern Mark Smith” were released in 1983. I caught on to him the next year with his absolute classic, A Scandal in Bohemia, an album I still listen to on a regular (as in, “at least once a month”) basis. Over the years and albums Fish/The Butcher’s writing smoothed out; the man matured from writing songs describing birthday presents “made entirely from the skins of dead Jim Morrisons” (“Caroline Wheeler’s Birthday Present”) to (on this release) things like “Melanie Hargreaves’ Father’s Jaguar.” The sense of humor is much more refined today. And, actually, so is the sound. In fact, it’s been awhile since The Jazz Butcher used distorted guitar and tons of reverb to tell his tales, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The Highest in the Land, like pretty much everything after the mid ’90s, is less in your face and more about space. There’s more breathing room. More space for your brain to fill in.

In reviewing The Jazz Butcher’s previous work, all of which were reissues at the time I was writing about them, I had the time – as in years or decades – to let them steep in my imagination and overall being. With this one, I’ve been listening to an album of all new material on short trips to town, in short spurts here and there at home, and when I have featured it on the radio show I do.* I featured The Highest in the Land’s lead single, “Time,” frequently during the last few months of the year (it had been released as a download just after Fish passed away) as it was not only a superb track but a very, errrr, timely tune with allusions to its author’s impending demise. That he himself wrote “My hair’s all wrong, my time ain’t long / Fishy go to heaven, get along, get along” to start off the track lets us know he was writing with some specific intent – to get a few things off of his chest, maybe, or a few thoughts out of his mind, before he left this mortal coil. The tune’s light hip hop lilt and droll, rappy delivery are perfect for some of Fish’s final (public) thoughts. Other tracks contain more of what our man was thinking in his final months, including “Never Give Up” and “Running on Fumes,” and the sweet, beautiful closer, “Goodnight Sweetheart.”

It’s rare that an artist gets to jot down and record songs about his own final days – what would we do if we knew we were dying? – let alone actually does so. And so, with The Highest in the Land, we are privy to The Jazz Butcher’s last testament. (As far as I know, I am not in his will.) Acting as the final chapter in an acclaimed yet (un)fairly unsung career, this album announces that, if you haven’t yet welcomed The Jazz Butcher into your soul, it’s about time that you did. – Marsh Gooch

4/5 (Tapete TR492, 2022)

* (You can catch my show on Mondays from 3-5pm at KPTZ.org.)

 

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Pretenders • Pretenders II [CD]

[Review originally published 1/18/2011 on Skratchdisc]

The holidays and a little bit of travel kept me busy for the last month, and though there are some new releases I’d like to get to, I listened to this gem on the plane and I can’t help but want to give Pretenders II its due.

Now I know most of you, if you’re a PRETENDERS fan, like the first album better. And what’s not to like about that album? Every song’s a winner; it’s hard to beat “Mystery Achievement,” “The Wait” or their cover of “Stop Your Sobbing,” let alone the truly sublime “Brass in Pocket.” But Pretenders II is just as brilliant, just as rockin’, and in my book, a better collection of songs. From the opening beats of “The Adultress,” all the way through “Louie Louie” (not the Kingsmen’s hit), II is a rock ’n’ roll coup.

Can you beat “Message of Love” for a song that is so sensually poetic, and yet still kicks you in the nuts? Chrissie Hynde’s lyrics are so good, even when she lifts others’ lines like “Now look at the people, in the streets, in the bars / We are all of us in the gutter, (but) some of us are looking at the stars,” she’s an original. “Talk of the Town”? Brill. “I Go to Sleep?” Hynde & Co. pick another sleeper of a Ray Davies tune and make it their own. “Bad Boys Get Spanked?” Oh my, how I wished I was getting a spankin’ from Chrissie back then. Yes ma’m, no ma’m… whatever you say, Ms. Hynde!

And what about “Birds of Paradise”: “I wrote a letter to you my friend, so many letters that I never send / I think about you at day’s end, the time that we had / I laughed in my bed, the stupid things you said / We were two birds of paradise.” What a gorgeous song. The band at that time, Chrissie, James Honeyman Scott, Pete Farndon and Martin Chambers, were probably the best unit going at the time. Their intertwining guitar and bass lines on this song, with Chambers’ tasteful percussion, are a showcase for how they could tone it down and still pack a wallop. So, with II, we now had a pair of absolutely stunning albums and then, boom, two of the four [original band members] are gone. It’s sad to say that Pretenders II was the last page in that unmatched opening chapter, but it was, it is, and life goes on.

Chrissie, of course, continued on with Learning to Crawl, also a nice piece of work, but the band from that point on became a bit of a revolving door with its members. Whatever… She still does great work. But if you haven’t given II a spin in awhile, please do. It really is amazing. – Marsh Gooch
5/5 (Sire/Real SRK 3572, 1981)

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Elvis Costello & The Attractions • Spanish Model [CD, LP]

This stupid pandemic has brought to market all kinds of stuff we never thought we would need. (I’m not going to go into detail on any of it except this…) ELVIS COSTELLO & THE ATTRACTIONS’ Spanish Model is a semi-remake of EC’s classic second album – the first he did with The Attractions – This Year’s Model. I don’t really know where to start with this, a remodel of a record that needed no overhaul in the first place. Put on the original today and it still blasts out of your speakers, all splash, brash and flash: insistent and consistent. Click on the link to this new one and it comes out of your little white earbuds or 1/2″ x 3″ wide laptop speakers as perhaps the most incongruent release in Elvis’s discography. What Spanish Model is is This Year’s Model with most of EC’s vocals replaced by vocals recorded by “singing stars from Latin America, Spain & the U.S.A.” That, on paper, doesn’t sound like a bad idea, exactly. On compact disc, though, it’s like time travel gone awry. Take that young English upstart and his cohorts and plop them, 40+ years later, into a world that they never made – or probably envisioned – and you’ve got trouble. What I’m getting at is these modern, smooth vocalists, as good as they can be (though there are some that just aren’t!), just don’t suit the music. I am left wondering just what in the world Costello and his business advisors were thinking when they cooked this one up.

I wish I could say I had high hopes for this one. I did not. In fact, I was going to skip this one entirely until one day, browsing the very meager selection of CDs and vinyl at my local Target, I saw Spanish Model on the shelf with a sticker noting “three bonus songs” and decided to give it a shot. Well, my aim’s never been very true and so I missed the target with this one. I can say, though, that producer Sebastian Krys’ mix – though very close to Nick Lowe’s original – does bring out some interesting bits that weren’t in evidence on that year’s model. Krys, being both a celebrated producer and person of Latin heritage, was clearly instrumental in this project’s birth and may have even been the instigator. And maybe, just maybe, the idea was judged to be a good one once it was obvious that Elvis Costello & The Imposters’ next album would hearken back to the sound of This Year’s Model (if pre-release track “Magnificent Hurt” is a trustworthy indicator). As much as many of us Costello fans have been wishing for a return to the glory days of EC & The Attractions, I don’t think any of us expected it to happen. At least, not this way. – Marshall Gooch

2/5 (UMe B0034233-02, 2021)

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Supergrass • In It for the Money [3CD]; Super Furry Animals • Rings Around the World [3CD]

Two British bands, both with “super” in their names, and both celebrating the more-or-less 20th or 25th anniversaries of one of their best releases. For SUPERGRASS, In It for the Money is nearly a quarter century old and comes in a remastered version bolstered by B-sides, demos and a live disc featuring most of the album’s tracks. SUPER FURRY ANIMALSRings Around the World is twenty and also comes in remastered form with B-sides and demos, but instead of a live set we get an entire disc of remixes. Both releases are excellent, and at least on the CD versions, overflowing with Britpop goodness.

Supergrass’ sophomore effort was light years ahead of their debut, I Should Coco, which suffered from a clumsy name and a narrow breadth of music (loosely then-considered “punk” but not quite). In It for the Money was a blast when it came out, and I have to admit – though it pains me to do so – I didn’t like it at first. It was my first experience with ’Grass and I thought it sounded either a) derivative [of what, I don’t remember!] or b) everywhere at once. After repeated listenings, though, I came around. I guess I figured out what they were going for and its power/Brit pop vibe was both focused and all over the place… in a good way. Harder rockers like the title track, “Richard III,” “Tonight” and others sat alongside “Late in the Day” and “It’s Not Me” and altogether obliterated the probably derogatory punk designation that Supergrass initially earned. They could have collectively choked with such a hold around their necks, but the band cockily flipped off the critics and delivered a downright classic alternative rock record.

For Super Furry Animals, their first major label outing benefited from a much larger budget and near unlimited time in a big league studio. Rings Around the World was more expansive than anything they’d done before, a little more electronic and a little more pop simultaneously. The lengthy album came with power-poppy tunes like the title track, nu-pop/soul like “Juxtaposed With U,” and the ballad pop of “It’s Not the End of the World.” It may now seem like a pretty lengthy album (it was released when vinyl was nearly dead) but it’s all very good so it’s really a moot point. The major label budget gave the band a chance to not only record nearly three single LPs’ worth of material, but to actually produce a 5.1 surround mix of the entire album and videos to go with it. (Sadly, you don’t get a disc with that material in this set but they can be had via the internet.) They also had a host of remixes done and most of those are here. I wouldn’t say those remixes are must-haves but they do give a good idea of what kinds of ideas and sounds the Furries’ heads were swimming in at the time.

Both Supergrass and Super Furry Animals’ deluxe CD sets are loaded with great material, and both are also available on vinyl – and in various configurations including colored vinyl variants, versions with bonus discs, etc. I opted for the compact disc versions of these in order to get all the goodies (and I already have one of them on vinyl anyway) and maximize my expenditure, but you may want to go the wax route if you’re in it for the vinyl. Whichever way you go, you’ll be investing in releases that represent absolutely the best stuff both bands ever did.
– Marshall Gooch

4/5 (Supergrass, BMG/Echo BMGCAT506CDX; Super Furry Animals, BMG BMGCAT510DCD; 2021)

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The Gun Club • Fire of Love [CD, LP]

When Blixa Sounds reissued Miami late last year, I thought to myself, “Now if they could just put out THE GUN CLUB’s Fire of Love, that would kick ass.” Well, they have and it does. Despite being very won over by their sophomore release upon re-release (my review is here), it was and is their 1981 debut that really cemented Jeffrey Lee Pierce’s place in the L.A. punk rock hall of fame – and on my own Desert Island Discs list. First released on Slash Records’ Ruby label, Fire of Love was a psychobilly/blues/punk hybrid that fit equally into all three of those subgenres and yet practically requires a category of its own. (Apparently some purists don’t think it belongs in “punk” at all, but I don’t know where else you’d put it.)

If there’s anything that demotes this album to less-than-essential (and that’s barely), it would probably be Pierce’s sometimes racist lyrics. I don’t think recounting the contexts in which he uses the “n word” would get him off the hook. And I’m not even sure you can make an argument like “it’s not Pierce, it’s the narrator who is racist,” since the singer/lyricist inhabits that role so solidly and uniquely that you can’t really separate him from him. So, forty years later, Fire of Love is still so goddamned good that I just try not to cringe too much when JLP goes down that road. Most of the time the lyrics and music are so good, so evocative of something very outside of and different from what you’d expect a middle class guy from Southern California to come up with, that it’s not hard to do. “Sex Beat,” “She’s Like Heroin to Me,” “For the Love of Ivy” – their punky gothic vibe comes through loud and clear. The band’s guitar, bass and drums form an incinerator that just burns, pushing Pierce’s vocals up into the air like a brushfire out of control. Whether you like your indie rock on the bluesy side, on the Cramps-y side, or sunny side down, The Gun Club’s Fire of Love does not disappoint.

Blixa Sounds’ new reissue is a 2CD or 2LP set that gives you the original 11-track album on one disc and an unreleased live show (recorded in ’81 at L.A.’s Club 88) on the other. There are also a dozen demos and alternate takes (which appear on disc one of the CD version and as downloads in the vinyl set), and they’re nearly as good as the album itself. In fact, you get the title track as an alternate take, since it didn’t actually make the album and was held over (in a different recording) for Miami in 1982. Sound-wise, this CD reissue sounds quite good, perhaps a bit meatier than Slash’s CD version. My vinyl copy is not an original on Ruby/Slash but Porterhouse’s 2014 “prime” cut (which is better than the previous copy I had on Spain’s Munster Records) (and may be better than the original Ruby vinyl I had once upon a time) – I don’t have the new vinyl to give you that score. But I can tell you this: you should own this album, whether on vinyl or CD (and why not both?!), so you oughta give Fire of Love a spin while it’s still fresh on your mind. Not that it will ever go stale, mind you… – Marshall Gooch

5/5 (Blixa Sounds ETA 874, 2021)

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The Rubinoos • The CBS Tapes [CD, LP]

Every once in awhile a release comes along that makes me yearn for the “carefree” days of my youth… When Mike C. and I decided to start our own band, aged 14, hardly knowing how to play our instruments – let alone knowing, for instance, that you needed a separate amplifier for the microphones. You know, just because bass player Jerry P.’s old Ampeg bass amp had 4 inputs on it didn’t mean that you could plug his bass, my guitar, and two high impedance mics (thank you, Radio Shack) into it and get anything decent-sounding. Before the internet – youngsters, listen up! – you either had to have older brothers who could show you the ropes, or you had to hope to catch enough of your favorite band’s one song on Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert to see what their set-up looked like. And that didn’t mean you were gonna understand just what was going on up there onstage. There were no websites where you could find the information, let alone any old fashioned books that had it. You just had to figure it out yourself.

THE RUBINOOS’ The CBS Tapes is a 1976 warts ’n’ all set that the very young band ran through one afternoon while getting ready to record their debut, eponymous album (released in ’77 on Beserkely). It wasn’t exactly their first band (for most of ’em) but they were very young, and the enthusiasm – as well as their advanced chops – really shows. Clearly not expecting that this recording was ever going to be anything except “hey boys, why don’t you run through a bunch of songs and get a feel for playing together in the studio,” the Rubinoos are hamming it up, playing goofy covers, some of their own tunes, and generally just having a great time, making goofy announcements “to the crowd” between songs and just making each other laugh. Just like band practice used to be before we decided we ought to try and get a bit serious.

Recorded at CBS Studios in San Francisco by producer/engineer Glen Kolotkin, it was basically a “let the tape roll” affair, with no overdubs, second takes or anything like that. Like the way we’d stuff a blank cassette into the Realistic tape recorder (thanks again, Radio Shack!) and just run through everything we thought we could get all the way through. Here, The Rubinoos – later to be exalted as princes of power pop – open with their own “All Excited” and then plow straight on into The Archies’ “Sugar Sugar,” a definite guilty pleasure for many of us and an obvious but great choice in ironic covers. But don’t think that’s it, ’cause later in the set we get treated to a real sarcastic but sincere version of The DeFranco Family’s big one, “Heartbeat – It’s a Love Beat.” Yes, and I will admit to having bought this 7″ as an eleven year old. This version certainly rocks WAY harder than that, as do their two Beatles covers, “She Loves You” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” Despite the guys’ lighthearted jokes and youthful cursing, the band really do like the “corny” covers they’re doing. You can tell because they deliver the same exuberance when doing their own songs, like the punky “I Want Her So Bad” and the unclear-what-its-title-means “Nooshna Kavolta.” Before the tape ends you get treated to King Curtis, The Ventures, The Meters and Jonathan Richman (“Government Center”). None of the songs are played perfect. But all of them are delivered so well and with so much glee that you just wish you’d been there sitting on the studio’s overstuffed, over-used sofa sucking on a Pepsi and just diggin’ what The Rubinoos were puttin’ down.

And to think this is the first record by them I’ve ever owned! Man, I gotta get to work on building up my Rubinoos collection. – Marsh Gooch

5/5 (YepRoc YEP-2788, 2021)

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Mumps • Rock & Roll This, Rock & Roll That: Best Case Scenario, You’ve Got Mumps [CD, LP]

What kinda band do you get when you mix (more or less) equal parts Sparks, Bowie, New York Dolls, Skafish and Dickies? Before you answer that, let me just say that I am aware that many will accuse me of committing the oldest “lazy rock journalist” cliché in the book by starting this review that way, and that I honestly don’t care.* Answer: MUMPS. Rock & Roll This, Rock & Roll That: Best Case Scenario, You’ve Got Mumps is the third compilation of tracks by the band, and considering I had barely heard of them before word of this comp got to me, you could say “third time’s a charm” in terms of me finally giving this group a spin. That is, if you’re prone to carelessly uttering clichés…

Well, what we have in the case of the Mumps is a mid ’70s New York rock band that came up via the CBGBs scene, made up of a handful of guys who got together in Mrs. Loud’s equal opportunity garage and took a shot at creating their own kind of music. Their lead singer, Lance Loud, had come out as gay on national television in 1973 during an episode of the PBS documentary series, An American Family. (This was before people got paid to appear on “reality TV” and pretty unheard of at the time, kids.) At the same time he was starting a band, sometimes called Loud, which eventually morphed into Mumps. There’s a lot of interesting history and plenty of great anecdotes about their exploits in the liner notes here, but suffice to say that though the band was clearly one of the better bands on the scene, they are – today – certainly way less known than Talking Heads, Ramones, Blondie, Television, et. al. Regardless of their actual popularity, Mumps deserves to be heard.

As you may remember from the opening of this review (oh, so long ago), they mix rock, punk, musical theater and more in a Rocky Horror Picture Show meets new wave combo that must have been pretty cool to witness in-person. In fact, it’s likely that the songs here that seem a bit over-the-top in the drama sweepstakes were probably quite exciting on stage. Think of Queen, if that band were more lighthearted, yet socially-conscious and a little less polished. Or maybe Sparks without the brother. (You pick which one…) With lyrics like “I wish I could’ve seen your face before the accident” – just one of the severely smart-assed variety – you can bet that these guys, or at least Lance Loud, were probably the clowns in their class. And if you weren’t of the “I’d like to punch that guy in the face” persuasion then you probably would’ve dug having any of the Mumps in at least your most-boring junior high period. The LP version of Rock & Roll This… is a 14-track affair, while the CD adds 9 more (all very worthwhile), including two never-before-released Loud tracks. Releases like this ought to give you reassurance that, just when you think you’ve heard every band you should have, there’s always the likelihood of you catching something as bad – and by that, I mean good – as the Mumps. – Marsh Gooch

4/5 (Omnivore OVCD-417, 2021)

* What kind of rock critic do you get when you mix equal parts “I don’t care what you think” and “I sincerely hope you think I’m a genius”? (Picture me using both hands to point back at myself) THIS GUY!

 

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Alex Chilton & Hi Rhythm Section • Boogie Shoes: Live on Beale Street [CD, LP]

Chillin’ to Chilton… what could be more enjoyable as late spring heads into summer? I nearly forgot about this one – it slipped down between the seat and the transmission hump and sat there for over a month before I thought, “Isn’t that new ALEX CHILTON & HI RHYTHM SECTION thing coming out soon?” Sure enough, it’s out now. Boogie Shoes: Live on Beale Street is the kind of short ’n’ snappy one-set show that you want to listen to over and over again. Chilton and his one-off backing band – made up of some of Memphis’s most esteemed musicians – got together for one benefit show in 1999 and luckily someone had the forethought to record it for future enjoyment.

Fact is, Chilton and band had not one rehearsal prior to this performance and you’d never notice it: these guys are the right amount of tight for a live set, never mechanical, yet never too loosey goosey either. The ten songs range from covers of Little Richard and Chuck Berry to Jimmy Reed, The Supremes and even K.C. & The Sunshine Band (the title track). With no missteps in song choice, this ten-song, 45 minute disc keeps the boogie factor high and the “ugh” factor to a bare minimum. Sure, I’d have brought the guitar up in the mix some. I might have asked “Hubie” Mitchell to use some more authentic sounding keyboard sounds (the organ’s not as organic as I’d like it). Maybe I would have had the guys play “Lucille” a whole step lower, as it’s just about out of Alex’s range. Finally, I’d wish that closer “Trying to Live My Life Without You” didn’t have to be faded out so early. But remember: I’m a critic. I’m supposed to point out the things that stand out, good and bad. Or in this case, neither good nor bad just noticeable. But what’s most noticeable is the fun vibe of this set. Besides the obvious good vibes people got from performing at or attending a benefit concert for Memphis promoter Fred Ford, a good time must’ve been had by all if the sound of this release is any indication. And at this late date, in this particular context, what it sounds like and whether any of us would listen to it more than once is of utmost importance.

When two disparate legends come together it’s not necessarily gonna be a success. But – at least this one time – getting rocker Chilton and Hi Records’ ace rhythm and horn sections to don their boogie shoes together was as close to a perfect fit as you could ask for. – Marsh Gooch

3.5/5 (Omnivore Recordings OVCD-420, 2021)

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The Palace Guard • All Night Long: An Anthology 1965-1967 [CD]

Given the legend that surrounds Emitt Rhodes – he being considered a pop genius a la Alex Chilton or Harry Nilsson – one would expect THE PALACE GUARD to be a necessary addition to the psych/garage pop canon. Rhodes, after all, formed The Merry-Go-Round (“Live,” “Time Will Show the Wiser,” covered by Bangles and Fairport Convention, respectively) and went on to make an acclaimed platter eponymously titled Emitt Rhodes (1970) when that band broke up. After Rhodes’ ’73 LP, Farewell to Paradise, failed to engage the pop public, he basically bid his own farewell and ceased releasing longplayers. Eventually, in 2016, Rhodes put out a followup to Paradise, Rainbow Ends, that garnered the same kind of critical praise that his self-titled ’70 LP did. Unfortunately, Rhodes passed away last year in his sleep.

But let’s get back to this CD, All Night Long, which gathers all six of The Palace Guard’s singles. The band was formed in Hawthorne, California by brothers Don, John and David Beaudoin, bass guitarist Rick Moser and Rhodes on drums. Their half dozen singles (so make that twelve songs in total) make up their discography, and all of them are pretty hard to find. Omnivore has brought us this spiffy collection and, while it has its strong points, it’s not what I would call a must-have. Nuggets fans, West Coast pop fanatics, and those who just plain favor obscure 45s will enjoy moments of this short disc. Their second single, 1965’s “A Girl You Can Depend On,” is pretty cool, in a semi-minor-key way, and their version of “Saturday’s Child” (released about the same time as The Monkees’ superior take) is worth a few listens, but the remaining songs are fairly forgettable. If it wasn’t for the fact that Emitt Rhodes emerged from this band – in which he played drums only and hadn’t gotten to demonstrate his later legendary one-man-band talent – they’d probably be remembered by only the most knowledgeable and esoteric pop-aholics. (You know, the kind of guys that would know, for instance, that TV’s Don Grady [Robbie on My Three Sons] sang lead on their final, 1966 single “Little People”.)

The thing is, there are plenty of pop fans who will eat up this release and there’s plenty of room for The Palace Guard in their diet. There’ll always be those of us who are interested in these obscure records and will be willing to give them a spin. All Night Long – save for its liner notes, oddly narrated by bassist Moser in third-person – is worthy of a place on the Rhodes scholar’s shelf. – Marsh Gooch

2.5/5 (Omnivore Recordings OVCD-424, 2021)

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The Cranberries • No Need to Argue [CD]

Review originally published in The Rocket, Seattle, December 1994 and posted on my old blog, Skratchdisc, on 3/31//2010 – now posted here for your edification, entertainment and/or annoyance.

Yes, that’s right. There’s no need to argue: THE CRANBERRIES are as bad as their name. For one thing, lead singer Dolores O’Riordan goes out of her way to sing every song as if she’s yearning for something. Can someone yearn that much? And for what? Her caterwauling envelops the entire album, making the whole thing rather difficult to hear. It makes me want to pee. I mean, she spends so much time trying to uniquely sing every syllable, she’s barely singing anything understandable at all. If you want to hear lyrics rendered as gibberish, you might as well go put on Cocteau Twins! At least they’re good, and their lyrics aren’t supposed to mean anything!

But, let’s assume you can get past her voice (i.e., you like it). Musically, No Need to Argue is an amalgam of alternative rock styles (including nifty grunge-style guitar on “Zombie”) that we’ve all heard at least one too many times. Now, I know that doesn’t necessarily make it a bad album (hell, I liked Urge Overkill’s Saturation). But it’s basically the same album as their debut from last year, Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We? Maybe they’re answering the question of their first album’s title with No Need to Argue. But, as your mother probably told you any number of times, just because everybody’s jumping off a cliff doesn’t mean you have to, too. – Marsh Gooch

[no stars given in original review] (Island 314-524 050-2, 1994)

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