The first in a series of post concerning my favorite records.
Chrome - Half Machine Lip Moves (1979)
Some of my favorite songs appear elsewhere...Slip it to the Android, Animal, Something Rhythmic...but this is my favorite collection of songs by Chrome and one of my favorite "albums".*
Dig it...after almost a minute of gurgled moans and scrapes...the lights come on and they rip the MC5 a brand new a**hole.
Just as suddenly, it descends back into the muck...evidently to murder those riffs because the song reemerges with their entrails laid over an mechanical beat. It's deconstruction...not as an intellectual exercise but as an act of pure malice. It is completely unnerving, disorienting...and it is glorious.
Half Machine is a companion piece to Alien Soundtracks...a tighter grip on the idea. Found sound collages and industrial beats...bludgeoning these scuzzy riffs with a wrench. It's the sound of The Stooges in the process of being assimilated by the Borg.
This isn't an album that I merely enjoy...it's one that was written specifically for me. It's a record that fits perfectly into a space in my brain. There aren't many of those...but, there's enough to make a list out of.
* I really don't like albums...or I hate the idea of The Album. I'll take as many good songs as I can get but, this standard of releasing 8 to 20 songs as a coherent artistic, Artistic, statement every year is nonsense and ruination. It's a ridiculous standard that has eventually embarrassed everybody...including Mark E Smith and Prince.
We all know who's to blame for this bull s***!
The last truly great Pavement release was a throw-off maxi-single...songs that were intended for the Silver Jews. There's a reason singles and EPs are so much fun. They don't bear the burden of being an Album...no ponderous bits forced into the aural narrative...tedious filler...just songs.
That's not to say it never works...I mean we have started with an album here but there will also be EPs and maybe even compilations. I refuse to adhere to the standard.