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I think Mark wrote a really nice piece. http://www.sicmagazine.net/articles/401 … -embryonic
I haven't heard the album and I probably won't bother. Marks piece did the perfect job for me in guiding my thoughts towards a purchase or not.
Interestingly Tim thought Mark was wide of the target as to the Lips best and lesser work. Personally I've stayed clear of their more indulgent stuff. In fact a couple of years back, Wayne Coyne really annoyed me in a piece he guested for Uncut Magazine. Basically he ripped into the current wave of post-punk acts. To paraphrase it went something like “if I hear another post-punk revival act I’ll do myself personal harm”. Personally I thought it was weak and irresponsible journalism. Coyne can like or dislike whatever pleases him but to state that there is too much of a certain style – that’s fascism, isn’t it? How would Wayne like it if we condemned psyche-pop to the ‘unwanted and outlawed’ bin?
Harry Enfield might have summed it up thus:
Oi Wayne, much as the wife and I admire your wacky psyche-pop and ‘shipwrecked in a suit’ fashion sense… if you was to come round ‘ere saying post-punk should be banned I’d say OI, NO. .Maybe WE grow tired of the same Muppet Show version of Pet Sounds that YOU’VE have been peddling all your career. If you don’t like a thing, try listening to something else, you onion.
I've been listening to this for the first times this week. First off, hands up, I've never heard anything pre-Soft Bulletin - I joined the bandwagon there and stayed faithful until War of the Mystics, which I thought was overblown and missed its own point.
Having missed the Uncut interview I cannot really comment further there either, though I think Coyne's comments may not have irked me quite so strongly as I find there is usually a surfeit of genre proponents when one or two strike it big or relatively big. 2008 was awash with alt-country which diluted the stong pool, 2009 has been equally awash with female folkstresses, again to the detriment of the good ones (Tiny Vipers has been lost in the ocean for example). And now even we are seeing an over-doing of the noise-pop and c86 revival scenes.
One could of course listen "to something else" as Brett says, and I imagine in most cases one does. To do otherwise would be to cause the very "personal harm" Coyne was referring to. Nevertheless I take his blunt point that there can indeed be too much of a good thing, perhaps his phrasing could however have been more sensitive.
Anyway, back to Embryonic, an album which rather than symbolising a birth (as an embryo may suggest), it most definitely heralds the rebirth that Mark wrote about when he said they were "“trying to recapture the kind of punk rock, acid, super, semi-cosmic jam that saw them spend their first fifteen years in obscurity". First observations cannot fail to notice this. It is out with the "muppet show version of pet sounds" (Yoshimi-era for sure) and back in with improv / freeform mumbling-pysch jams. And it whiffs strongly of overweight indulgence, weighing in over the hour mark (which I know is the point with this sort of exercise in noodling).
Some come-latelies will be put off. If they come looking for "Do You Realize?" mark two, they will be disappointed. Other come-latelies (myself included) may not be put off. Whilst far from the 10/10 classic the NME hailed it as, Embryonic is another welcome addition to the Coyne catalogue. Though I may only listen to the first 45 mins, as I don't like how it drags on ... and on.
Coyne may have noticed quite a resurgence in this sort of thing (check Arbouretum and some of the Woods album). It would be a pity if his album got overlooked with the emergence of this renewed interest in what he may consider his sound, but judging from the Uncut review Brett paraphrases, it may be a case of him getting a taste of his own medicine if it does.
Excellent post Rob