Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Mofungo: Frederick Douglass [Twin/Tone/Coyote, 1985]
What would a stranger make of this friendly but apparently overwrought and tuneless cacophony? Wish I were sure s/he'd find it as winning as I do. Not counting "El Salvador," this is the only time in eight years they've treated themselves to a mix forceful enough to clarify the apparently casual musicianship that goes into what are actually canny, complex, and suggestive structures. Even when you have no idea just what words they're hanging from titles like "Migrant Assembly Line Workers" and "Our Days of Weakness Are Over," you know they like grunge, a good joke, and other people. You know they're pissed off, too. A-