A horrible hack

Quasi

When the Going Get's Dark

Year Released: 2006
Format: CD
Label: Domino
 
Reviewed by Ian Scanlon on Jun 13, 2007
I got sent this nice bit of wax thanks to a findus crispy pancake loving buddy of mine who got a job at Domino (I don't know what his job is, probably counting their wads of money or something), and crikey blimey it's ace. I wasn't that excited about it as I've not previously been a fan of Quasi, they're one of those bands I've had people play to me and say "you'll like this" but it's never grabbed me, same goes for their previous employer Elliott Smith, which I know is heinous to some people, but I digress. This record is corking, it's pretty guitar heavy (although the songs are all piano led, the guitar is up there in the mix with it, and on the whole this album sounds, amazing.. Dave Fridmann mixed it and, as one expects with his stuff the drums are REALLY LOUD, but rather than on the flaming lips/ mercury rev records where it always sounds a bit fake to me (as if they've been turned up)... Here it sounds like Janet Weiss was just battering them. The lead track "alice the goon" is a pretty good indicator of what's coming, heavy slamming drums, some really 70's sounding rock guitars and a kind of drunken lurch that pervades the whole record, it's kind of reminiscent of "tonights the night" by Neil Young in that sense, though without the total sense of desolation that record has. Here it's more like they've decided to get drunk and let loose, there's alot of that kind of "and ANOTHER THING" drunk hectoring tone to SamCoomes vocals, and alot of kind of pyschedelic touches (wiry lead guitars spiralling away in almost Oneida fashion on"poverty sucks" and a couple of soundscapey touches over both sides. In all though an album that contains the line "I'm popeye the sailor man, I live in a garbage can " and "wizard's kiss, dragon breath" sung with the bitter tone of a man the wrong side of 10 pints is great in myu opinion. When that album also features some amazing Built to Spill level lap steel guitar, on "peace and love" and an awesome steely dan style funky number, "death culture blues", get's my vote every time. Just the thing to wash the taste of the last Sleater Kinney album (bad in my opinion though not a million miles stylistically from this? Perhaps I just SK's signature sound but not Auasi's maybe I should re-examine! Maybe I should keep it to myself).

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