IT’S AN ELEGANT STATEMENT OF MUSIC-making intent, for sure. But the real beauty of Blonde Redhead’s fourth LP title is that it’s no lie.
For Blonde Redhead – the NYC trio made up of brothers Amedeo and Simone Pace and their friend Kazu Makino – deal expressly in the things that don’t come easily. Theirs is a noble enterprise, fraught with detuned Sonic Youth guitars and scything hardcore fury. The lily-livered may find Kazu’s voice – a wracked yelp of yearning – a stumbling block, but the rewards for taking your hands off your ears are great.
Tunes like ‘Distilled’, and ‘Futurism Vs Passeism Part 2’ are driving, righteous wig-outs, defensible as fantastic in any court of rock, while ‘Missile ++’ (dedicated to fellow travellers The Make-Up) and ’10’ take their trademark nervy lunging and make it groovy. But Blonde Redhead’s most natural state is unease; and indeed songs like ‘Sumimasen’ (which curiously means both ‘thank you’ [I]and [/I]’excuse me’ in Japanese) are palpably sweaty with minor-key dread. What they’re not afraid of is looking clever, though, and so they draw widely on art, books and film scores, and make Fugazi’s Guy Picciotto (who co-produced this album) do a spoken interlude on ‘…Part 2’ in French. A cultured, eloquent