Friday, February 6, 2009

Blonde Redhead - Blonde Redhead

Label: Smells Like
Year: 1995

One of the most uncomfortable moments I can ever remember witnessing during a concert was at a Blonde Redhead show at the 40 Watt in Athens, Georgia. The band is made up of twin Italian (cum French Canadian) brothers on drums and guitar, with (at the time) two diminutive Asian women on bass and guitar. So, you have a unique stage presence to begin with, but then throw in the added dynamic that twin brother on guitar and Asian woman on guitar had until recently been romantically involved. Again, not outrageous, just slightly peculiar. So, during an intense, feedback laden freak out jam in the middle of one of the songs, guitar twin brother moves toward Asian woman on guitar while they both are playing, then proceeds to pin her against the wall while they still are both playing. He then commences to start grinding his hips into her, and pretty violently I may add. Her response was a real pained look on her face, and maybe it was an act, but it seemed pretty humiliating at the time. It was weird...uncomfortable weird. Weird enough that you could hear above the din, "what the fuck?", "should someone get him off of her?". It made an impression, that's for sure.
Date rape aside, the band was fucking great, and their first couple of albums (this one being their debut) were blissful pop coated in sharp guitar bleats with male/female vocals of the disembodied/haunted school, they are blurted, cooed, and yelped as the music dictates. There are certainly Sonic Youth comparisons to be made, and just to galvanize those, note the record was released on Steve Shelley's Smells Like imprint (he also produced it). There's a lot of tension and mood on this record, and the songs are incredibly well crafted, they move subtly and aggressively from moment to moment.
Anyway, great record, you should certainly have it in your collection.


1 comment:

Joe Kerr said...

This is my favorite album of theirs, without feathers being my favorite song.

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