Wednesday, March 23, 2005

face the truth is coming

Hey, new Stephen Malkmus stuff on its way, excellent - 'Face the Truth' is coming out in a couple of months (exactly, it's due on May 23rd). Quoth Malkmus,

"and people are going to like it more . . . I can already tell."

There's a very appealing mini-review of the album over on Scenestars, and they even have an mp3 of one of the new tracks, 'Pencil Rot' there. Of course the song is laid back (this is Stephen Malkmus), but it's also tuneful and envigorating, something which I thought was a bit lacking from his last effort, Pig Lib. If this track is anything to go by, he's toned down the classic rock impulse that has gradually spread outwards in his work since Terror Twilight, and the loose, buzzing synths and Malkmus's easy, confident drawl recall an avenue many of us thought that he might go down a few years back, underestimating his love of 70s rock. This track dashes along, not forgetting to shimmy into a chorus, and sounds fun, just like all the best Pavement tracks did. It's the best thing I've heard him do in a long while. Matthew, over at Fluxblog, points out the similarities to the Fiery Furnaces, which I can see, and, back at Scenesters, EJ writes that on the new album...

"Mr. Malkmus has found some form of joy, and a resonating sound of happiness strings through the record unlike anything I've heard previously from him. I think he has mastered the undercurrent of pop music in this record. It does not bore, and I am going to need to want to listen to it for a long, long time."

Good news.

Mind you, I've been going through a phase of listening back to the neglected Malkmus records in my collection, finding much to like in stuff like Brighten the Corners and Terror Twilight, albums which disappointed me when they were released. I'd forgotten how good that early Silver Jews stuff is, too, and have been catching up on recent 'Jews material (sans Malkmus), which is surprisingly brilliant, given my short attention span for pedal steel guitars. So I filled a CD up with Pavement, Silver Jews, Smog, Slint and that Bonnie "Prince" Billy album, and have been reliving my indie rock years. I also finally managed to track down 'I Suck', by the New Bad Things, which was my favourite song ever ten years ago, and which I've been trying to find for years - so I'm going through a serious regression period; it's 1993 all over again round my place.

From that New Bad Things song:

"People like to think that if someone has changed society
in some profound way then perhaps they don't suck,
But they're wrong in thinking this.
My first example is Lou Reed".

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