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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
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Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
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The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
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Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
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Fat Possum
Various Artists
Everything Comes & Goes: A Tribute To Black Sabbath
Temporary Residence Ltd.

Rating: 8/10 ?

May 4, 2005
While Black Sabbath may not be the obvious first choice for a bunch of indie rockers and laptop twiddlers putting together a tribute album, upon reflection it makes perfect sense. The sludgy-stoner sound championed, and arguably created, by the dream team of Ozzy, Iommi, Butler and Ward has spread its poo-stains across a wide spectrum of music, from grunge to math-rock to beard-rock and beyond.

Let's face it: Ozzy-era Sabbath records fucking rock as hard as ever in 2005. They never indulged in ballads like those pussies in Led Zeppelin, and when they did get soft, it was all drug-fueled psychedelia. Ozzy's lyrics never rode the storm or touched me, babe, like Jim Morrison's high-school diary entries. Their nascent metal was big-cocked, devil-obsessed and precise way before it was cool. The range of artists who appear on this tribute record realize, for the most part, that to alter the songs too much might render them parodies - as well, they know enough to inflect the seminal tunes with their own signature sounds and creative juices.

Matmos leads off the record with their version of "F/X," and it is, of course, a minimal cut-and-paste blip-job apparently recorded while on tour with Bjork. The other electronic entry is Four Tet's "Iron Man," where beautiful acoustic guitars gently pluck out the ubiquitous melody over a stuttering hip-hop beat, rendering this one of the more heavily altered tracks, but tastefully so.

The faithful recreations come as Paul Newman's version of "Fairies Wear Boots" and The Anomoanon's "Planet Caravan." The former is a rockin', fairly straightforward interpretation played with precision and respect, while the latter makes you slap your forehead as you wonder why this isn't a staple of their live set. The Anomoanon's Grateful Dawg meanderings are a perfect match for the gypsy-psyche of this track.

Other standout covers on the record include Ruins' medley "Reversible Sabbath," which jumps from familiar riffage to familiar riffage like an ADD-ridden toddler. Racebannon thoroughly gooses "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" with a screaming, intense, punk rock fist of iron, and it feels really good.

Kudos to Temporary Residence for assembling such a diverse and capable roster for a tribute album that could have easily gone wrong and descended into ironic moustache territory. Ozzy may be a welcome guest on Regis and Kelly these days, but surely even he will be reminded of his indiscrete youthful wilding when he kicks back in the Hummer and throws on the latest tribute to his former (and sometimes present) band.

Reviewed by Jonah Flicker
Jonah Flicker writes, lives, drinks, eats, and consumes music in New York, via Los Angeles. He once received a fortune in a fortune cookie that stated the following: "Soon, a visitor shall delight you." He's still waiting.

See other reviews by Jonah Flicker



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