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- Demolition Plot J-7 by Pavement
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Demolition Plot J-7 showcases a premature version of the band who would be Pavement, comprised of Stephen Malkmus and Scott Kannberg on whatever instruments they feel like, both making different rackets in the same room. Glancing over the liner notes, which read like a discombobulated Malkmusian lyric sheet, it’s obvious the duo barely remembers what they played, and that they really couldn’t give a fuck: they credit themselves with creating hoots, playing pseud-piano, and point out innovations from “inaudible solos” to “african thangs”.
None of that is heard among this record of rough-around-the-edges lo-fi and gruesome guitar wailing. It’s a stunning reissue that reminds Pavement fans of how raw and impassioned their favourite band were before they got stoned and started making lazy, wacky music with clean guitars. We’re talking before before Malkmus became an accidental poet laureate, instead focusing on gnarly guitar chords played with a sludge-like precision. Cracks of the band who would go on to make summertime’s lo-fi classic, Slanted and Enchanted, do occasionally peer through the cracks: the sly guitar riff in ‘Perfect Depth’ hints at a bright future for indie rock, predicting the jangly, blindly optimistic sound Guided By Voices would go on to champion, and for all their scrappy playing, Malkmus and Kannberg wrestle a compelling melody out of ‘Fork Lift’.
Ultimately though, this is a rare treat of a record on which Pavement are tough as nails; in a year in which Malkmus has put out one of his most meticulous and downright bizarre solo records, Demolition Plot J-7 is a welcome reminder that the indie rock wizard was once careless, impulsive and pretty punk rock.
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