Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  And It Don't Stop
Books:
  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
Writings:
  And It Don't Stop
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Playboy
  Blender
  Rolling Stone
  Billboard
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
  Recyclables
  Newsprint
  Lists
  Miscellany
Bibliography
NPR
Web Site:
  Home
  Site Map
  What's New?
    RSS
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
  Archive
Venues:
  Noisey
CG Search:
Google Search:
Twitter:

Consumer Guide by Review Date: 2018-12-07

2018-12-07

Flasher: Constant Image (Domino, 2018) Twentysomethings foresee, rue, and encapsulate in tightly wound pop-rock a constrained, moderately diverting life of futile, moderately comfortable survival ("Go," "XYZ") ***

The Goon Sax: We're Not Talking (Wichita Recordings, 2018) Although Louis Forster takes fewer leads on this young threesomes's smoother and trickier follow-up, their unpretentious affect, plain guitar, and flat groove still recall the early years of his dad's Go-Betweens. True, Louis reports that he's barely heard them. But I doubt de facto frontman James Harrison was so cautious, and can imagine drummer Riley Jones learning that Lindy Morrison never stepped up to the mike and deciding she'd better: "I don't want distance / When distance always seems to be the thing / That comes and hurts us." In any case, a university art band they're not. Instead they're still reflecting on adolescence with a humility and concentration that hurts. No one's calling but they're not picking up the phone. Passing your bus stop hurts even though they know you need time to yourself. Come to think on it, they "never knew what love meant" anyway. Yet already mortality impends in the form of "piles of books I'll never read / And a list of things I'll never be." Twelve songs in half an hour that say more than they pretend and plenty they may only intuit. A-

Mad Crush: Mad Crush (Upon This Rock, 2018) Because the guitar-bass-drums-violin as well as the vocals aren't so much subtle as mild, these seven love songs never work up the right pitch of emotional intelligence. But you still believe in your heart that John Elderkin and Joanna Sattin are a couple, because only a couple would notice these things? In the jocose "My Pre-Existing Conditions" Elderkin admits to two left feet, getting stuck in the past, needing to talk before bed, and there's more. In the pained "Where Does It Hurt" Sattin is so sick with ennui she asks only that he still be there in the morning. And he will be, because elsewhere they stay in bed, miss each other when they don't, and overnight a Christmas turkey on Amazon Prime so it'll be there for the Fourth of July. B+

Weakened Friends: Common Blah (Don Giovanni, 2018) Brave young woman gains ground in her wavery-quavery battle with insecurity, which this album proves she has the stuff to win ("Younger," "Early") **

Select Review Dates

Get unique date list.

Enter begin date as YYYY-MM-DD:
Enter end date as YYYY-MM-DD: