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The Stooges | The Weirdness | review | rock | Lollipop

The Stooges

The Weirdness (Virgin)
by Martin Popoff

There was no way this was going to satisfy, I suppose. I mean, The Weirdness is going to be measured against something that was highly dangerous but at the time only, and to boot, simple, lo-fi, heavy but only taken so far, even dated in a weird garage rock way back to the mid-'60s. So immediately, Steve Albini has been taken to task for the In Utero-ish production. It's actually fine - he balances the explosive and dirty and heck, it isn't even that dirty, all the bass and treble you would want is there, all the instruments are the right volume in the mix - what more do you want? Too grungy, and he gets more of the same, too clean and it gets called too clean. It's fine. The songs? Well, again, Iggy, Ron, and Scott (all original Stooges), plus Mike Watt on bass have to ride the line. They bash simply, with a bit of retro, and so they're competing with hundreds of bands who've emulated anything about The Stooges over the last 37 years. "Mexican Guy" is, of course, the most authentic bit of "weirdness" being a bit raga and blanga like Hawkwind. Iggy's been taken to task for the lyrics too, and yes, they're a bit upfront and shocking, but only in his amusing way. He's done this for years, and actually there are a bunch of good lines in here. However, you could probably make a better "Stooges" album by cherry-picking songs from his last half dozen Iggy albums.

It's an OK album, but I suppose they didn't really create gloriously in the name of art, like, say, the way The Who did with Endless Wire - now that record is the real Sex Pistol of the last couple years. Nothing about that thing falls along the expected. So The Stooges bash out happy, hummable garage rock. Yes, I suppose they faltered or screwed up. We could've gotten art, darkness, maybe some stuff that was a little difficult to love (and I'm not asking for L.A. Blues or We Will Fall, but y'know, a bit like that) but instead, we get rocked appreciably by generalist material that could've come from any kid or co-oldster of the Ig.


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