Thursday, October 2, 2008
Boston Spaceships Brown Submarine and beyond.....
It is pretty hard not to want to listen to a record with a song called "soggy beaver" on it, but when it is on a Robert Pollard related project, you can't let your hopes get too high. My reactions to GBV songs run from "are you fucking kidding me" to "please don't stop playing this song" with not much middle ground. So outside of "soggy beavers", I didn't really have any major expectations for the new Pollard group Boston Spaceships. Would they be better than the Boston Chinks? Would they do the Boston Monkey? Would it be better than a Pollard stand up album? 14 songs on an album titled "brown submarine". "brown submarines" is as lame a title as "soggy beavers" is cool. so there you go. It's a thing line between clever and stupid.
This record "consistently met expetctations". There are the tracks I skipped and the tracks I played again. Solid record, but no jaw on floor moments.
I suppose that spending my commute switching between this and the new Metallica would inevitably cause me to make some comparisions. Hetfield vs Pollard. Both middle aged rockers who deliver the goods in a forumalic fashion (Hetfield methodically and slowly and Pollard sloppily and frequently). Both popular (one in a niche, one around the globe).
The new Metalica was supposedly a "return to the roots" helmed by Rick Rubin(which might explain why some of the earlier songs have a Slayerish groove). To me it was an acceptable serving of Metallica. Some riffage was in the vein of Ride the Lighting or Master of Puppets, but the lyrics remain in the millionaire middle-aged crisis angst mode that for me is hard to understand, but totally enjoyable none the less(watch their documentary-the pseudo therapy babble is priceless. I guess when you don't have problems you make them up).
So this brings me to the one significant difference between Pollard and Hetfield-money. Pollard drops without a note of existential anguish dozens of records with no concern. Hetfield seems to agonize over every move, riff, and drum fill. Metallica go multi-platinum ever time, no matter what-How much positive feedback does Hetfield need?
Both dudes are past their prime, but can manage to deliver the goods. Maybe not blow your doors off, but not totally emabarass themselves either.
Either way at least with these guys you get what you expect and they don't get your hopes up like this fucking Cult Ritual 7" I picked up. Over Enginereed sleeve looked like the 1st Youngbuck album cover redone by Nic Blinko. I couldn't see a band name and thought it might be a new Bone-Awl 7" and not some pseudo-Void noisey HC. Total let down. The packaging was about 1000 times cooler than the music. Maybe that is the secret to the old guards success-they meet your expectation everytime. Not a lot of home runs, cause they hit for average not power. You know what you are going to get with Metallica or GBV, but you don't get suprised-which casues you to roll the dice on things like this single-which hold out a chance of jaw on the floor suprise.
So in one review, I have covered the new Pollard, Metallica, and Cult Ritual. That is a good days work.