Wednesday, December 26, 2007

2007 in Review: The “Malcolm X but Not Really” Award

This award, in honor of a good album by an artist who has previously released a great album that I did not acknowledge at the time, goes to:

World of Shit
Terror Visions
I call this the “Malcolm X but Not Really” Award in honor of Denzel Washington, who as we all know was completely screwed out of an Oscar for his masterful performance as Malcolm X, so in order to compensate, the Academy gave him an award for Training Day later, even though it wasn’t that good of a movie. The simple fact is that at this time last year, I was not cool enough to have heard Jay Reatard’s Bloodvisions, which absolutely should have been on my “Best of 2006” list. So now I’m including this album, which is completely different, in part because of my ignorance last year. But it’s not really a Malcolm X situation because unlike Training Day, World of Shit is really good in its own right. The Terror Visions group lives up to their name: by stripping out the pulsing warmth of Bloodvisions and replacing it with cold, sterile synth without losing any of the intensity or passion, this really does become a record built out of terror. It is fast, harsh, shrieking, often electronic punk rock. This is waking up in the middle of the night sweating, with the absolute certainty that something with teeth eight feet long is about to eat you. Like the creature in Alien, this record is a "perfect organism. Its structural perfection is matched only by its hostility." World of Shit is a stark world, but it warrants as many repeated listens as you can handle. Jay Reatard has put himself into a class of punk rock both skillful and unrelenting that few, if any, are in these days

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