Saturday, June 27, 2015

Review of Blonde Redhead's Fake Can Be Just As Good (1997)

This just in from 17 years ago→my review of Blonde Redhead's 
Fake Can Be Just As Good in the July 16 1998 issue of Phoenix New Times:http://bit.ly/1GBStsW (scroll down)。 "The most beautiful cut on the album is 'Ego Maniac Kid,' a sensuous lullaby that Kazu [sic] sings as though in a half-sleep, with the melodious syncopation spiraling downward chromatically until the song climaxes in a throaty and panting chorus." Pretty sound judgement for a 13-yr-old boy, I must say。


THURSDAY, JULY 16, 1998 | 17 YEARS AGO

Blonde Redhead Fake Can Be Just As Good (Touch and Go)

Blonde Redhead Fake Can Be Just As Good (Touch and Go) With Blonde Redhead's third and latest release, the international trio seems to be mocking its critics' accusations of unoriginality. The group's music has been written off dozens of times as Sonic Youth-inspired echoes of sounds already heard. But Blonde Redhead, starring the native Japanese Kazu Makino and the Italian Pace twins, has much more to offer than most critics have claimed, and its newest album seethes with fresh ideas. 

There's no denying that Blonde Redhead owes some inspiration to Sonic Youth. But the influence seems to be more in their philosophy of music, art and experimentation than their specific style. Stylistically, Blonde Redhead shares only Sonic Youth's sense of drama--romantic, subtle melodies mixed with chaotic, formless noise. On the whole, Blonde Redhead's songs are more structured, symmetrical and linear than those of Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon. 

The album begins with a collage of beckoning and haunting noises that lure the listener into the band's bizarre, dark and opium-altered world. In the almost punk-rock opener, "Kazuality," singer-guitarist Amadeo Pace sings disjointed phrases in his strangely unique tenor: "I want you . . . too shy . . . one time . . . one two . . . slow one . . . kiss one line . . . go ahead . . . get inside." The lyrics are written as the mind actually thinks, in a sort of passive stream of fragments and ideas to which words cannot be coherently attached. The entire album is written this way. 

The music works in much the same way as the lyrics. Each musical idea is seemingly disconnected from every other, but somehow it all fits into place. The most beautiful cut on the album is "Ego Maniac Kid," a sensuous lullaby that Kazu sings as though in a half-sleep, with the melodious syncopation spiraling downward chromatically until the song climaxes in a throaty and panting chorus. 

The album hits a kind of peak with its final cut, "Futurism Vs. Passeism," a hard-driving instrumental jam. The guitars sound thick, melodic and busy, while the drums complement with tight syncopated rhythms. This bass-less track is particularly reminiscent of Sonic Youth's instrumental tangents, but Amadeo has a vocal response ready for any sniping critics. "It's just the energy," he says, and of course, he's right. --Ryan Morrison


Here's the song:

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