Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Public Image Ltd - Flowers Of Romance

I'm beginning to think that the initial intrigue behind the bulk of my music library is planted a widdle more firmly in the culture's birthing of these niches than the actual aural components. That's not to say that these artists haven't created wonderfully engaging tunes out of these "uncouth posturings", but unlike your standard rock 'n' roll act, stuff like krautrock, psych, noise, IDM, rock-in-opposition, free jazz (etc) seems to be attractive on a cerebral level first, a gut level second. I gotta wonder - is this how the artists intended their vision to be absorbed? Like pieces of conceptual artwork to be pondered and slowly digested rather than enjoyed on a throbbing primordial level? Furthermore, at this junction in time, is it even possible to create music of an instantly accessible, perfunctory nature that simultaneously goes against the pop grain? Or has time made the majority of music buffs too reactionary as a whole to accept the unchallenging as high quality? Maybe I'm thinking too much on this - more likely, I'm not thinking hard enough. It's hard to say anything cohesive or constructive when you're a monolithic dumbass, though.

So whatever. To start, this is an album I'm constantly at odds with concerning my favoritism towards a certain Public Image Ltd affair - sure, this one is forward thinking as fuck and the sole album of this style in Lydon's catalog, but c'mon - Metal Box/Second Edition is not only monstrously enjoyable, but is a monstrously enjoyable DOUBLE ALBUM. Hard to one up for quality and quantity.
Anyway, what would you do when your bassist who was formerly the cornerstone of your band's sound gets canned for recycling tracks for his solo project and you're not a Rhode Island based noise rock band called Arab On Radar? Why, you totally overthrow your pulsing, dub-heavy dance-punk style to produce an album of incredibly dense, percussion-centric ugliness that dabbles in musique concrete, ragas, a few skrankly-krankly guitars, and a lot Lydon's horrible wailing!
As strange and inimitable the descriptor might make this album sound, it's actually totally apparent from first listen on what sort of impact this stuff must've had on the industrial genre what with it's hard, locked-in beats, bizarre background noises and the untamed, ugly-as-shit vocalesce. I hate to be "this guy" who tells you to "PLAY IT LOUD, BRAH", but really, play it loud, brah. This is one of those albums I can state without hesitation sounds a whole lot better when it's pounding grooves envelop you - the kind of heaviness you can feel in your chest when a fire truck sounds it's alarm 10 feet in front of you.
I don't know. Check it out

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