A horrible hack

Stephen Malkmus

Face The Truth

Year Released: 2005
Format: CD
Label: Domino
 
Reviewed by Chris Bress on Jun 13, 2007
I had one of the worst days of my life last week. Everything went wrong; I was close to breaking down on the way home when an amazing Pavement track started playing through my headphones. I had forgotten just how much I loved them, and for about two minutes (until a fly flew into my eye) I was happy.

When I got to work I had a parcel and in it was the new Stephen Malkmus cd! So that got me back into shape. This is probably, possibly, the best stuff I’ve heard from him since his Pavement days. The first track freaks out like an indie rock Frank Zappa covering Trumans Water and throughout the record it saunters between indie-noise spurts to summery pop tunes.

There is still a general feel of Fall worship but you can tell it’s filtered through the American summer, rather than Manchester’s bleak industrialisation. “I’ve hardly been” for example shows how Malkmus sings in a similar style to Mark E Smith, but it’s an American take on it. The chorus to “I’ve hardly been” also points towards Mudhoney or “Bleach” era Nirvana.

To the subversive music fan this may sound a little middle of the road, but after repeated listens more and more experimentation shines through, and I don’t mean long drones or walls of noise. It’s the time changes and the placing of different instruments here and there that make the songs all the more fun to listen too, it’s as if there’s something new to listen too on every listen.

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