Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  And It Don't Stop
  Book Reports
  Is It Still Good to Ya?
  Going Into the City
  Consumer Guide: 90s
  Grown Up All Wrong
  Consumer Guide: 80s
  Consumer Guide: 70s
  Any Old Way You Choose It
  Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Xgau Sez
  And It Don't Stop
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Rolling Stone
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
Web Site:
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
CG Search:
Google Search:


  • NVM [Hardly Art, 2014] A-
  • Lost Time [Hardly Art, 2016] A-
  • This Mess Is a Place [Hardly Art, 2019] **

Consumer Guide Reviews:

NVM [Hardly Art, 2014]
The way I figure it, a feminist band who write a surfing song about menstruation called "Crimson Wave" and then swap in the alternate joke circumlocution" communists in the summer house" can do no wrong. But that doesn't mean they get everything right. I'd make the hit-to-meh ratio on this 2014 album two-to-one or a little less, and inconveniently, the mehs include the lead "You Never Came Back." Sure shots: "Hey Girl" ("You're just a sweaty jerk"), "F.U. #8" (her ride is late again), and "Psychedelic Quinceañera" (half-Mexican Consuela does 15 her way). A-

Lost Time [Hardly Art, 2016]
There's a clueless bohemian chauvinism about the thematically irregular, melodically irresistible lead single "I Hate the Weekend." I mean, aren't the drunken loudmouths who overrun Emily Nokes's hood--"Got a hall pass from your job / Just to act like a fuckin' slob"--damn near as, well, oppressed as the retail-trade "working stiffs" who bring them their comestibles and consumables? Nor is the X-Files-themed opener exactly cutting-edge. So on what could be the breakout album I'm pretty sure they deserve anyway, the winners are the back-loaded "Talk," with its brooding "stay true to your phone," and "Men Explain Things to Me," which I hope requires no further elucidation. And all the way at the end comes the capper: "Take your time because / It's your time to take / And the values that you want / Are the ones that you create." OK then. A-

This Mess Is a Place [Hardly Art, 2019]
"What a time to be barely alive" equals dejection that bridges the social and the personal, but putting dejection across requires more musical drama than they have in them ("Hologram," "Grains of Salt") **