Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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The Five Mod Four/The Wrens [extended]

  • The Meadowlands [Absolutely Kosher, 2003] A
  • Split CD [Contraphonic, 2004] Choice Cuts

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Consumer Guide Reviews:

The Wrens: The Meadowlands [Absolutely Kosher, 2003]
I keep waiting for the moment when I need to put this away for a while, and it keeps not coming. Instead, four years of takes and tweaks build and cohere--pealing and shifting, wafting and pounding, sinking into babble and soaring into, to choose my very favorite, the bright intro, garbled vocal, and guardedly exultant chorus of "This Boy Is Exhausted." The theme is failure, take it or leave it--not just failure to get rich and famous, which does rankle, but failure to love. But their labors imbue both aging-alt whines with excitement and dignity. Anybody who can create a record like this deserves more than 13 thou a year. And anybody capable of "13 Months in Six Minutes" deserves another shot at a woman too good to take for granted. A

Split CD [Contraphonic, 2004]
"Bus Dance" Choice Cuts