12th December 2001
Shock me! Make me feel better!would rhyme better if they said ``Put on your black sweater''.
Shock me! Put on your black leather!
Firstly, unlike the Kiss song, it seems that there's a bit of commitment to festulence here. I almost prefer something actively repellent to the kind of anodyne faux-metal in that track (It's OK to be rude about Shock Me after having assigned its mark, right?)
Secondly, I was able to save two precious megabytes of disk
space with this track, because when I wound the MP3 bit-rate
right down to 48kbit/s there was no discernible decrease in
quality. (Incidentally, you can argue that it sounds
better at 8kbit/s - or at least, more interesting.
Take a listen and see what you think.)
Oh no, wait, I've thought of something: it's less than twenty
It's at times like this that I long for the relatively innocent days of SoSSLv1, when I thought the Pixies' Debaser was about as bad as music could get. Ah, how little I knew! SoSSLv2 brought with it Poison's execrable Look What the Cat Dragged In, but with the perspective of history, that was just softening up for SoSSLv5's Like This with the Devil.
Make no mistake, these are three truly awful songs. I mean really, really bad. Devoid of any redeeming feature whatsoever. And yet even these monstrosities, so wantonly perpetrated upon us, had this in their favour: they were performed with some bare minimum of technical competence. Judge Not exhibits a courageous willingness to cast even this aside in favour of an ill-judged (har!) melange of out-of-tune instruments (the flute is a good quarter-tone sharp), wildly lunging sloppy rhythms and flatulent vocals.
At the SoSSL premiere, Alec remarked that I looked like I was going to be sick as this was playing. He's not far wrong. Listening to this actually causes me physical pain. It's an offense against all that is music. I would honestly rather listen to a pneumatic drill.
On top of this is the well-known fact that reggae is just fundamentally awful. Yes it it. Notwithstanding my claim in the pub after the premiere that there's one good song in every musical genre, I can't think of a good reggae song. In the past I've reserved most of my vitriol for the cod reggae produced by White Bands That Should Know Better: Simply Red are, for some reason, a particularly foul repeat offender. But the awful truth is that Judge Not is a more loathsome experience even than Hillside Avenue from the Pink Pancake-meister's otherwise exemplary Life album.
In a nutshell: Judge Not sucks.
(Observant readers will notice that I've been forced to
abandon my ``If you can't say anything nice'' policy. Still, it
lasted for fifteen songs, that's not bad.)
0/10 and it's only got that high a mark because I'm feeling generous today.
Overall comments: SoSSLv6 doesn't feel as adventurous as its predecessors: even Sacha, for example, has gone very mainstream with the tame metal-for-fourteen-year-olds that is Kiss; whereas at least with his previous selection of Like This with the Devil, I felt like there might be something there that I didn't ``get'' (and was glad not to.) But every previous Spirit CD has grown on me a lot as I've listened to it repeatedly, and I guess this one will too.
It's still a great project!
(on to Volume 7.)