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- Pop Crimes by Rowland S. Howard
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This one originally came out last year but is only just getting the wide release it deserves, perhaps due to the sad death of the former Birthday Party guitarist just before the year's end. This is one of those times where I'm really struggling to review something, not because my mind's blank and I can't think of anything to say but because the music's completely gripping and I want to just stop and listen to it without any distractions. Nick Cave's obviously been a big figure in this fella's life and you can hear it all over this record, which sounds much more like a lot of the early Bad Seeds material than much The Birthday Party ever did.. Kind of weird since they parted ways around the time of the crossover from one to the other due to the old 'creative differences'. Even his cover of Talk Talk's 'Life's What You Make It' is pulled off with amazing aplomb: he totally makes it his own with that satisfyingly clangy bass that runs right the way through every track here, allied with his amazing, inimitable (though plenty have tried) guitar style. Dirgey, intense and totally fantastic throughout.
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