Thursday, November 02, 2006

Henry Cow - Unrest

Jesus christ, it's only 9:37 pm and I'm already tired as shit, so I'm going to make this review snappier than usual.

Unrest is a fucking awesome early 90s indie pop band. In related news, this album by the band Henry Cow isn't very good at all. If you like to listen to people farting into clarinets and calling it "avant-garde" or "Rock In Opposition" (that's "in opposition to the music industry," apparently), then you'll probably dig this. I'm all for weird Zappa-like shit being influenced by free jazz and Messiaen and Stravinsky and whatever, but let me tell you, Frank Zappa wrote some damn good melodies in his time (1966-1969), and Henry Cow seems more interested in just being shitty than writing decent melodies.

Julian Cope described Henry Cow's opening set at a Faust (NOW THERE'S A BAND THAT IS REALLY, REALLY GOOD, YEAH) show that he attended as "wacky Cambridge University Degree music." And that's what this is, really. According to legend, they only had enough material for half an album, so for the second side, they just recorded a bunch of improvisations. So on the first half, they sound like a bunch scholarly, pretentious pricks who want to impress you with their "knowledge of 20th century non-rock stylings" and "arranging skills," and on the second half, they just sound like pretentious pricks. "Pretentious pricks" to say, ain't it.

This music is just no fun at all. And I tend to enjoy bleak, nihilistic shit like this. If you want to hear the "Rock In Opposition" side of prog done right, buy me the This Heat box set for Christmas, and I'll burn it for you.

Rating: So Altar is awesome, as expected. I'll probably review it next week.

Song: "An Unrest song!" I would have YSI'd "Yes, She Is My Skinhead Girl," but I'm on my mom's computer, and there's just a bunch of King Crimson albums on here because I burned them for that mall-punk kid who likes Rush a lot, the dick, and the burner on the downstairs computer doesn't work.

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