Mark Prindle’s Music Reviews

The interviews aren’t so interesting. There’s a part of me that just switches off when I see questions and answers listed under each other: I prefer prose to script. Anyway, the site isn’t called Mark Prindle’s Interviews, because then it would be s*** and everyone would ignore it. The reviews are wonderful – I stumbled on them a while back and keep referring back to them because they make me laugh. Stream-of-conscious irreverence – I don’t have to agree with every word, but, like Yahtzee, there’s much wisdom amidst the mirth. The descriptions are vivid and eloquently expressed, although occasionally he meanders too far off topic and makes the odd misstep – particularly when he’s trying to be offensive for its own sake. The site’s been going since 1996, hence its format being more suited to a blog (as comments are encouraged) but its setup predates the blogging age. Here’s his take on some of my favourite albums:

Linkin Park – Meteora

I’m smarter now than I was when I reviewed Hybrid Moments by the Misfits. The Linnkin Park aesthetic merges four distinct types of music into one incredibly unlikable whole: (a) heavy Helmet-style grunge nu-metal chords, (b) dull “tough guy” rapping, (c) electronica and (d) boy-band r’n’b sissyass vocals. How come nobody in today’s media ever mentions that Chester The Molester has a pussy boy-band ‘N Sync singing voice? He totally does! And half the time, the backing music is light and tinkly enough to sound EXACTLY like a Backstreet Boys ballad until the loud guitars come in during the chorus.

Actually, I loved Meteora, but I’m smirking at that description.

Killing Joke – Pandemonium

Other great songs include the “Kashmir”-esque “Labyrinth” (which works not because of its Eastern-tinged melody, but because the burying of said melody behind a crunchy guitar stutter creates a dizzying swoony feeling in the gut of the listener as he and/or she tries to figure out whether the melody is coming from a synth, a violin, or whether it was just planted in his and/or my head during the ditzy opening bit), the lovely and talented “Jana” (as heavenly as any song they’ve written), and the disorienting “Pleasures Of The Flesh” (which combines a meaningless ZZ Top riff with an unexpected bass-and-synth melody to great effect.

I love Labyrinth so much I feel all tingly just thinking about it.

Foetus Symphony Orchestra – YORK

… particularly the talentless, smug 50-year-old goth teenager Lydia Lunch and worst filmmaker of all time ever Richard Kern. […] And Lydia Lunch is right in there — she can’t act, she can’t write, she can’t sing, she can’t think, yet she’s been doing whatever it is she’s supposedly good at for almost thirty years now. And here she is, doing it all over a Foetus album.

;ffalsdigkhd;shgaph;gahhahahahaahahahaahaha!!! You know the phrase “I laughed until stuff came out of my nose”? I did that. I almost wept reading that review – it’s the only Thirlwell album I never actually heard because I was screaming GAAAAAH!! MAKE IT STOP!! MAKE IT STOP!! MAKE IT STOP!! after about twenty seconds and only skimmed the rest. I wouldn’t call Lydia Lunch “talentless” – more that she’s depriving the world of its best talk show host while occupying niches to which she is less obviously suited.

Foetus – HIDE

“Paper Slippers” – Like a warped Bee Gees piano ballad, this song is sonically familiar but melodically skewbald. If John Lennon heard this, he’d s*** his coffin.

*Nods vigorously*

Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon

So let’s talk about “On The Run.” If you’ve never seen the video Pink Floyd At Pompeii, rent it. “On The Run” is performed by Roger on some weird electronic briefcase; it’s an awfully funny scene watching him try to create the perfect “doodly-doodly” noise. But he succeeded! “On The Run” is the perfect “doodly-doodly” noise played over and over and over again until there’s a really loud explosion at the end. Then there’s some really loud clocks and, oh, you see my point. You know it’s a great album. It was on the Billboard charts for like ten years!

Popularity is rarely an indicator of quality, but I think the world just agrees that this record is f***ing fantastic.

Smashing Pumpkins – Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness

In other words, if only the Pumps had tossed the master tapes to me at the end of session final and said, “Dump the filler,” I could have given them a great record!!! But no. They refused to hand over the tapes, so now I gotta sit through 28 crappy songs just to hear the ten good ones.

Again, agreed: much as I’d defend the good tracks, there’s a reason I’ve never replaced my old cassette copy. At some point I’ll get the MP3 version, and select which songs to buy, which will be fewer than half of them.

Radiohead – OK Computer

The entire record is full of these smart ideas, new sound combinations, striking vocal and guitar melodies and extraordinarily composed creations drifting through dark window shades of echo to fill your room with cold trepidation and closed-eyed, head-bowed, clenched-fist hopelessness. Listen to the first two chords of “Subterranean Homesick Alien” – that is eXacTly the mood I’m talking about. At times a detached rock bitterness (“Karma Police”), at times a robotic sickness (“Fitter Happier”), at other times a strangely morbid, anxious take on bachelor pad music (“Paranoid Android’) – heck, there’s even some sad lullaby music on here (“No Surprises”)! But all of it slow. Slow and suicidal. Like The Cure, creators of the depressing goth anthem “Friday I’m In Love” that made me kill myself when I was in high school. But don’t worry about me! I’ve long since returned to the Earth as a scary ghost in a white sheet that goes “Woooooo!” and plays scary songs on a grand piano in a big dark mansion with cobwebs and a knight’s armor that always smashes a battle axe down right behind any mortals foolish enough to enter my fiendish abode. A ha ha ha ha ha ha! AH HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!


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