VICIOUS CIRCLE! VICIOUS CIRCLE! VICIOUS CIRCLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
That darned Mickey Leigh is at it again! (seven years ago) Continuing his career strategy of recording one album per decade, famed movie director Mike Leigh churned out another depressing piece of shit called "Naked" that dragged no that's not
Continuing his career strategy of recording one album per decade, Mickey Mantle hit a GODDAMMIT
In the `70s, Mickey Leigh recorded the amazing BIRDLAND LP with "gonzo" rock critic "Gonzo" Lester "Gonzo" Bangs, then in the `80s, he recorded the incredible RATTLED! LP with the Rattlers. And now here we are (seven years ago) in the `90s, and Mickey Leigh has recorded the GOOD album Never with a band called STOP. "So what you're saying in so many words, Mark," you're implying, I can fuckin see it in your eyes, "is that Mickey Leigh is no longer King Midas of rock and roll song stylings, turning everything he touches into gold including his beloved daughter, if memory serves." NO! That's NOT what I'm saying! I never even IMPLIED that! (although I certainly implied that). Listen. No wait, let's skip a line here.
As Mickey might be the first to agree, this CD has too many songs on it. It's a full 15 minutes and 4 songs longer than his earlier masterpieces. Not only that, but as I know Mickey would be the first to agree, because these are his exact words as spoken at the end of the 106th Congressional Session - "the more different styles you incorporate into your music, the more chance someone is not going to like it all." I love loud fast distorted mean punk metal and eerie dramatic mesmerizing echoey guitar anthems, so I love a good 3/4ths of this CD. You see, that's what 3/4ths of this CD sounds like. Some of the songs are fun fun funny with funny voices and funniness, and others are hard mean angry with bitter harmonizing and sneering vocals. This musical information is decoded by my brain in such a manner that a lot of dopamine is released and I become happy.
But I can't say I'm much for funk metal (so am I supposed to enjoy "Dance Of The Synthepunks," huh?), or slowed-down versions of Ramones songs (So long, "Outsider!") or songs that sound too much like other songs (Nice to see you, "Metal Eyes"! Oops! I mean, The Stooges' "1969"!). So these songs suck all the dopamine right back up and make me turn to crack cocaine and Elmer's School Glue to get my jollies back. Perhaps I have a problem with the "future reward" functioning in my brain, like ADHD people do.
Let me know the minute you can tell I'm reading a book about the brain.
But most of Never is great. Mickey has changed his approach over the years, leaving behind the `60s garage pop/rock songwriting for harder, heavier, more distorted metal/punk. But there's still a lot of catchiness and beauty. For catchiness, it is probably unlikely that anybody in America will ever get a song stuck in my head quite as much as the brilliantly bouncy asskicking "Whatchu Think!?!" (unless I start taking too much Provigil again, and another "Dead Man's Curve" experience rears its buttugly head). If, on the other hand, "beauty" is your mark of distinction in today's mad mad mad mad world, you should be listening to the dazzling echoey guitar chimes of the dramatic "With Our Blood" and "Ballad Of Mickey Leigh." And, if you could stick out your foot for a moment, right there that's great thanks! If on the other foot, you're after just plain speedy goodness, have you ever heard Stop's hardcore-speed hoedown cover of Johnny Cash's "Ring Of Fire"? It's "three chords and the truth"! "He really means it, maaan"! It's "worth the price of admission"!
Every Music Critic In The World
In conclusion, Stop kicks ass live and on 75% of this album. But it's not the beautiful Choir/Chocolate Watchband/Nightcrawler action that you're probably used to hearing from him, assuming that you're one of the 4 people who bought his last two albums (go buy them, ASSHOLE. They're both available on CD, ASSHOLE). You have to be more into the harder rock action to dig the Stops maybe. But why shouldn't you be? What are you, sitting around listening to Quadrophenia? That's not a very good album! Stop it!
Dude, I totally didn't even mean to do that play on words there. I'm serious!
You're Gonna Wanna Click Here, In My Opinion (Signed, Stephen Hawking and Several Other Smart People)