Monday, May 7, 2007

The Weirdness - The Stooges - Virgin Records (2006)

You know that awful taste you have in your mouth when you wake up? Similar to your tongue feeling like the lining of the bottom of a birdcage? Awful isn't it? Well let's just say that The Stooges' (featuring 3/4 of the original lineup) new album "The Weirdness" is the aural equivalent of that. It leaves a bad taste in your mouth, but one that is strangely enjoyable.

Everybody's favorite cracked-out grandpa-lookalike Iggy Pop and Asheton brothers Ron (guitar) and Scott (drums) have reunited in 2007 (with the addition of grizzled punk vet, bassist Mike Watt) after a 34 year hiatus to remind us all what punk rock really is: dirty, grimy brief songs that leave you reaching for a bar of soap. The Stooges left a dirty skidmark on rock and roll's underwear during their brief time together from the late 1960s until they flamed out in 1973. This album sees them return to their familiar sonic snarl with the help of famed rock producer Steve Albini (Nirvana, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Jesus Lizard).

"The Weirdness" combines old, grimy, 70s-style punk rock with some rockabilly and British garage rock flavour to create one of the most enjoyable punk rock albums in recent memory.
With song titles like "Trollin", "My Idea Of Fun" and "She Took My Money", it is easily understood that Iggy and the boys don't want us to listen to diatribes on government corruption and and world peace. They want us to know that no matter your age (Iggy Pop turned 60 recently!?) cruising the streets looking for trouble and women, randomly harming people for amusement and complaining about being taken advantage of by an evil woman while inebriated; are all things that any red-blooded man should enjoy revelling in. When Iggy shouts the chorus of "My idea of fun/Is killing everyone" on the track "My Idea Of Fun", it almost makes you want to get out your seat and get outside and join Iggy in "a bit of the old ultra-violence".

If you're looking for a 40 minute escape from the mundane and aren't afraid to feel dirty all over, then the new release by The Stooges "The Weirdness" is just what you need. As Iggy reaches retirement age, let's hope that he doesn't lose that bitter edge that he's had for over 4 decades. Hey, wait a minute....isn't the food supposed to be horrible at retirement homes? That should piss Iggy off enough for at least another album's worth of material shouldn't it?

Rating: 3.5/5

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