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December 02, 1985 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 1985-12-02

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C

Page 8 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, December 2, 1985

Records
The Replacements-Tim
(Sire Records)
Is Tim a sell-out? No. Is Tim the
best record The Replacements have
ever released? Probably not. Is it
their fault? Not really.
Tim, The Replacements' first
major-label release does not deserve
to be lumped in with other releases by
bands that fell victim to major-labels.
This record proves that movement
from an independent label does not
always represent a willingness to
compromise quality.
In terms of songwriting, Tim is
probably the best record The
Replacements have put out, and that
is a strong compliment, as the band
has a history of good songwriting. The

I

album's faults do not lie in the songs
themselves, but in the overall con-
struction of the album.
One by one, the songs are very im-
pressive. "Hold My Life" is a punchy
rocker, with every band member
distinguishing himself, but the Stin-
sons, Tommy on bass, and Bob on
guitar sound especially good.
"I'll Buy" is a bouncy, conciliatory
number. The chorus features lead
singer Paul Westerburg "Anything
you want, dear/is fine, fine, fine,
fine/Anything you say, dear, /I'll
buy, buy, buy, bye, bye."
"Kiss Me on the Bus" is a hooky,
darker number which features "I
Want to Hold Your Hand" handclaps
and sleighbells together in one song
for the first time in recorded history.

H hh

THIS WEEK AT GUILD HOUSE
802 MONROE
ANN ARBOR,M! 48104
Monday, Dec. 2 8:00 p.m.

GUILD HOUSE READING SERIES
STEPHEN DUNNING and MARTHA CLARK KALIN
Reading from their works.

"Dose of Thunder" is just that, a
screaming metal-ish headbanger.
"Waitress in the Sky", the album's
quirkiest number, is a rockabilly two-
step about an oddly ethereal stewar-
dess. Lyrics like, "Hey, my fair,
don't want to complain/But when
you get to me, you're always out of
champagne" make it a highlight.
The last song on Side One, "Swingin
Party," is a moody, plaintive ballad.
Westerberg has no trouble
manifesting a hung-over tone which
sells the song.
Side Two opens with the blazing an-
themic howl of "Bastards of Young."
It is as close as the band has ever
come to speaking for their peer group,
and is on the whole believable, and
powerful, but suffers from a dragging
tempo and unimaginative bass-work.
It is followed by a straight ahead
rave-up, "Lay it Down Clown" which
is notable for its defiantly ugly-
sounding chorus, and Jerry Lee Lewis
piano riffs.
"Left of the Dial" alternates bet-
ween Westerburg singing against
clicking drumsticks, and an onslaught
of guitars. It purportedly features
Alex Chilton on back-up vocals, but I
challenge anyone to pick him out. No
matter, "Dial" is one of the album's
strongest songs, featuring extremely
tight musicianship.
"Little Mascara" is a bitter rocker
directed at an ex-lover that lost only "
a little mascara" when the break-up
came. The album's final cut, "Here
Comes a Regular" is another tipsy
ballad, extolling the virtues of a bar-
crowd cameraderie. Again Wester-
burg has no trouble finding the
proper (soused) voice for the song,
but it's bothersome to have two
similar ballads finishing off both side
of the record.
The songs are simply in the wrong
places. It would be easier to accept
the two songs if they weren't placed in
such similar positions, and it would
also be better if the songs weren't the
last songs. After a series of upbeat
numbers, the listener is forced to slog
slowly out of each side of the record.
The production is also inap-
propriate. Tommy (Ramone) Erdelyi
brings a flat sameness to the songs.
The bass is consistently mixed high,
the guitar low. The vocals lack treble,
and the entire product lacks crispness
and punch when it needs it. It's really
a shame, as the songs are varied
enough to call for distinct and
creative production. The
Replacements come off sounding
more monotone-ish than they deserve.
Since The Replacements will no
longer be allowed to make the quilt-
like thrown-together records they
made for Twin-Tone, they must now
set about finding a producer prepared

December 4

6 - 8 p.m.

RICE & BEANS NIGHT
$2 requested
Proceeds for material aid to Central America.
LAW SCHOOL CONVERSATIONS
with
ALLAN STILLWAGON
Assistant Dean and Admissions Officer
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN LAW SCHOOL
Small group discussions on preparation for Law School,
Law School expectations and how decisions are made
TIME: 9:00- 12:00 and 1:30 -4:30
(Hourly discussions at 9, 10, 11 a.m.
and 1:30, 2:30, 3:30p.m.)
PLACE: 310 Hutchins Hall
(Law School AdmissionsOffice)
DATES: December 5, Thursday
INTERESTED STUDENTS PLEASE SIGN UP FOR A
TIME AND DATE BY CALLING OR VISITING
310 HUTCHINS HALL, TELEPHONE 764-0537

Are you sick of fashion., pretention and all those other Nectar-like things? Then check out the Vertical
Pillows at the Blind Pig tonight for a full dose of guts, sweat and all the best oozing qualities of rock and
roll. Rack-Mounted Compression will open the show at around 10:30.

to handle the demanding range of
styles they work with. Once they do,
they will banish any notion of major-
label sell-out. Their songs are still
terrific, they just need equally in-
spired presentation.
-John Logie
Precious Metal-Right Here,
Right Now (Mercury)
Inevitably, aspiring bands are in-
fluenced to a degree by the groups
that have "made it." Stepping back to
evaluate what these successful
musicians have in common produces
a distinct blue-print for a practically
guaranteed top-40 record. The
necessities are as follows:
1) A danceable 4/4 drumbeat; 2)
Redundant guitar power-chords; 3)
Non-musical vocals; 4) Intellectually
stagnant lyrics; 5) One guitar solo per
song, preferably inserted between the
second and the third verse.

On their debut album, Right Here,
Right Now, the five-woman band,
Precious Metal shows evidence of
having memorized each point so as to
regurgitate it on every track. In fact,
Precious Metal abuses more chintzy
gimmicks than Ollie Fretter.
Just a glance at the tacky cover shot
of the band gives rise to the valid
question, "which was most influential.
in these womens' lives: Jimi Hendrix
or Jordache Jeans commercials?" As
for the music, this Los Angeles based
band peforms, it in itself is evidence
that too many generic clothing corr-
mercials combined with too much
MTV is fatal to potential talent in
America.
The line-up is, in theory, half
promising. While the bassist and the
drummer have no previous musical
experience, the singer/songwriter has
written and performed in various
bands and both guitarists have been
trained classically in their in-
strument. When listening to the
record, this knowledge becomes in-
creasingly frustrating, for it is ob-
vious after only one listen that talent
does exist in the two guitarists, but it

is perpetually being suppressed by the
stale vocals and the commer-
cialization of the music. Three brief
bursts of energy do call for attention,
these being the fairly decent guitar
solos (no. 5), in the final three songs of
the album which may in fact wake you
up. Unfortunately, they are each
rudely pre-empted by the static
vocals which remain completely void
of emotion throughout the entire
record (no. 3). The monotonous songs
do succeed in carrying only one
lyrical theme, which is quite a flat,
considering it is not a concept album.
This theme is, of course, the archaic
cliche, "boy must come back to girl to
make her life complete" (no. 4).
As for the rhythm section, the
drums manage to beat a continuous
and danceable 4/4 time (no. 1). The
bass line is simply redundant. It does
begin to perk up in "Girls Nite Out,'
by introducing a pseudo-Bo Diddley
lick. The interest wanes dramatically,
however, as it becomes evident that
this same exact lick, with no added
variations will be repeated
throughout the entire song.
Overall, this band's record is the
result of too much prim e-tiree
television. If they were to durp the
commercial packaging, abandon the
musically paralyzing gimmicks, and
instead concentrate' solely on the
development of the guitarists, they
might produce some powerful music.
As it stands, however. Precious Metal
never advances beyond the basic 5-
step process for stagnant song-writing
and impotent perform ance.
-Katie Gentile

! II ri _-g

Show how you feel with ...
Michigan Daily Personals
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