Album Review

Work, The – “Slow Crimes ” – [Ad Hoc]

Thurston Hunger   1/25/2007   A Library, CD

Love the stuff that this label has been re-recommending as of late. Here
we get another glimpse at post-Henry Cow art rock, playing in parallel
next to post-punk spike outs. Anger articulated askewly? You bet! Early
80’s ate the soul, bands like this tried to wall off the hyperconsumption
with intricate instrumental passages and lyrics with bite but cloaked
in a less thrusting tongue. There are often passages where multiple
vocals drone on, check out the odd Greek chorus on “Flies”, infanticide
insecticide or vice versa? Don’t mind the maggots…they’ll pop up later.
More ouroborous overeating on “Knives,” consumer, consume thyself.
Lot’s of great lurching rhythms that can in a heartbeat be replaced by
an industrial march or a ping-pong percussion or even someone cracking
a whip on a metal sheet. Anguished lyrics, chasing melodies through
mazes are going to lose some; check out how the story of “Cain & Abel” is
stretched taught over the angles of grit guitar. Catherine Jauniaux
appears on four tracks, but she is no soft herald from the goddess side,
listen to her caterwaul and wail on “State Room” if anything she pushes
the whole unit closer to the ledge. “Do It” not only lyrically captures
the inner monologue of an overthinker, one who winds up at odd with
how he started out, it delivers it over a crisp hi-hat pitter-pat.
“Le Travail” is le estranger ici, with washy keyboard that feels like
Robert Wyatt is going to emerge out of at any moment, instead its
Jauniaux, okay on this one it sounds like she’s touching the goddess
a little… Then more unbalanced beauty to close, Hodgkinson’s unease?

-Thurston Hunger

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