Friday, November 04, 2011

And For my 600th Post, A Short, Half-Assed Review of the New Lou Reed/Metallica Album "Lulu"

I'm trying to like this. It's harder than I thought it would be. Fuck it, it's as impossible as passing a stone through staples.

 First of all. Just so you know, almost everyone I know, and probably everyone you know... loves Lou Reed in some capacity....Velvet Underground and Nico, Loaded, Transformer, The Bells, Berlin, Coney Island Baby, New York....all in the rock pantheon. So with that said......

If you give this one a shot, don't be a die hard Velvet Underground fan, don't be a Transformer fan, don't even be a Songs for Drella fan.  Be a Metal Machine Music or a ReLoad fan. A tone deaf, patient or medicated one.

You must know by now, if you are well schooled on Lou Reed, that Lou Reed doesn't give a shit about us, fans, critics, writers, bloggers, innocent bystanders, the guy that delivers Chinese to him and Laurie Anderson on a Friday night, pigeons, or anyone passing a disagreeable thought his way. He's the toughest interview in rock history, he's a curmudgeon's curmudgeon. The last time he smiled, it caused a quadruple rainbow and then a spike in worldwide births nine months later.

Quite simply, there's no need for this album in any capacity. THIS is the Metallica album they should have pumped through speakers in Afghanistan. Every terrorist would have ejected out of their ratholes instantly bawling their eyes out, laying down rifles and returning to their mountain side farms to raise cattle and garden for the rest of their lives.  I could only get through CD 1 and that's under the influence of a strong anti- biotic/percoset cocktail and a shitload of time on my hands.

This album fits sonically snug as an open mike through dual ear infections.

 It's the world's most expensive unorganized basement jam. The scenario probably went like this...Lou gets off the plane in San Francisco and is driven up in a limo to Metallica' studio in San Rafael. He stares out the window, dour faced and unfazed. Same flatlined expression through the rolling hills of wine country and the mesmerizing terrain of Marin, like it was raining piss on his best leather.  The boys have not received anything in advance and when Lou gets there and sets up, he pulls out some dog eared legal pad, spends five minutes waxing with James and Lars about some prostitute named Lulu then immediately rolls tape.

Poetry in general is tough to transfer to tape, especially a poetic narrative about German Expressionist Theater barked out in monotone.

Yeah, I know, monotone is Lou's thing. But here, he's croaking and gasping in compressed spurts trying to half howl some kind of a story over that horrible Ulrich crummy crutch of Cymbal/Snare stoccato over and over and over. he can't keep up, even with Lars' lack of tempo,..its all brash and bash and I'm lost and distracted and running for vicodin to drop in my iced tea.

The Lowlights include "Pumping Blood" a dreary half stomp of stutter and start, half demolished meter with my favorite lines of verse from the entire album

"Blood in the foyer
The bathroom
The tea room
The kitchen, with her knives splayed

I will swallow your sharpest cutter
Like a colored man's dick"

Another crushing blow is a "song" called  Cheat On Me. Its a 12 minute repetitive mess that plays out like some raspy old codger at a poetry slam, bleating out self deprecating verse next to a tunebox on a stool playing St. Anger with the treble up way too high.   "Why do I cheat On Me? Why do I piss my dreams.?"  Fail to clear throat. Repeat.

"Iced Honey" is really the only thing I could get through without grinding my teeth and keeling over. Its the only track that has a semblance of melody and a beat that matches the meter.

The combo of Lou's voice and James Hetfield's background growls of the unintelligible come and go like shrapnel to the temple. I don't know why they're there. And I don't care.  At one point he says..."I am the table" ??????  Makes me think he read Lou's chicken scratch wrong and they just kept it.

To summarize....No.   No means No.  An Iron Maiden would be more pleasurable....not the band, a real iron maiden.  Please don't let this pave the way for a Leonard Cohen/Slayer or Bobby McFerrin/Cannibal Corpse offering.

   Thank You and Goodnight.


  1. I had the "pleasure" to hear a few excerpts of this on the local rock station a couple of days ago. It sounded how I would imagine a mustard and peanut butter sandwich would taste like. I think that the idea of a summit between the two camps was likely far better than the actual result. Thank fuck they didn't put Lou's voice through autotune software hahahaha. This is worthy of a four song EP release in Scandinavia....

  2. Geez, You missed out on the good stuff on Disc 2 especially the 10 minute Cello Feedback on Junior Dad. And thank God that Lou didn't have an autotuner on hand either.

    The way Lou thinks, I'm sure he just intended this to be a CD you play once and file away or trade it. I already sold mine off 1o hours after buying it. Bought it, played it, sold it. ;)

  3. My hats off to any musician whom steps out of their boundaries to try anything new...

    Rock and roll would be boring if it that didn't happen. Take for example-Robert Plant. We all know his legacy as the frontman for the legendary Led Zeppelin. His has turned down offers in millions to reunite with the former band, yet he chooses to work with country fiddler/singer Allison Krauss with very respectable results. I LOVED it!

    Not all things work out as planned. Ian Gillin's venture with Black Sabbath was a bust. I hated Ozzy Osbourne's latest album, Scream, when he did the techno thing.

    Then again, many bands like the Scorpions, Dokken, and Great White play it safe by rehashing the same material over and over again. It gets old after awhile...

    Some bands like U2 and REM reinvent themselves. Taking risks. Some worked-others didn't. Others just evolved-like Rush. These bands test the hands of time proving to be worthy of being respectable musicians.

    As for Metallica teaming with Lou Reed...I'm all for it! Metallica has taken risks before, with panned results. Weather pass or fail, they'll have my respect...

    Then again, I'll wait till this album hits the cut out bins before I'll out to get it.