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Iggy Pop’s “Post Pop Depression” Reviewed

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I know there are fans out there who will claim that its worse moments are better than 99% of the Hot 100, and while I am not in agreement,  sure it is better than, I dunno, Wiz Khalifa or something like that,. And since it is Iggy Pop, you can agree there is a continuum from proto-punks The Stooges to modern hard rock like Queens Of The Stone Age, and so it connects to the first rumblings of everything rock and metal  is today. Even so, Post Pop Depression sounds fucking horrible.

I don’t mean fucking horrible the way Kanye West’s Yeezus did or, God knows, the way the Metallica-Lou Reed ‘s Lulu sounded horrible, I don’t mean  horrible where horrible was  its soul, ugliness was what it was, I mean horrible as in a bloated rock song mid-tempo dirges that speed up from time to time,  that sounds like quicksand topped by elderly man grunting horrible. I mean it sounds horrible because it knows no better.  Co-produced, co-written and with guitar, bass , piano and backing as well Josh Homme stakes his claim to the Pop legend. Then he also hires his very own posse,  guitarist Dean Fertita of QOTSA and drummer Matt Helders of Arctic Monkeys, to stick their nose in Pop’s business, and the four of them sneer and stress their way through the nine songs.

Got it? Could it be other? Well, on the antecedent for Hommes, the David Bowie produced The Idiot and co-produced Lust for Life, Bowie resurrected Iggy’s career, the former a dovetail away from Bowie’s Berlin with a disco horrorshow in its work,  and the latter the crowning achievement of Pop’s solo career, wherein he rewrites the book of glam punk in his own pockmarked, junkie image. Between them, the two albums are such a height that to expect Post Pop Depression to even contend with its shadow is just silly. But to expect it to beat out Arctic Monkeys is a gimme, and really, painful “Vulture” doesn’t compete with anything: it is a cauldron of wails and sinking thudding drudge with Pop’s painful vocals on top. It sounds like… actually it sounds exactly like everything Josh puts his hand to: band after band, song after song, it is all these singing sludgy guitars and heavy drums, and it is the equivalent to using garlic as seasoning. It is all you can hear.

The problem with Josh is the problem with rock, he is both shabby and self-important, he mistakes riffs for hooks and arrangements for melodies, the songs aren’t aggressive enough and really, this was all about the groove and Josh’s decision not tto hire a basist and handle the job on top of everything else was stupid, and it seriously hurts the entire enterprise. It never swings. These are ugly songs without having the beauty of bloody mindedness,  the return of Pop, after so many sidesteps,  isn’t an end in itself, I’d rather he croaked French ballads than this, and if this is to prove he can still rock, well maybe he can’t.

So what works? For me, “Chocolate Drop” near the end is OK, a mid tempo plodder, sure, but you won’t rush for the reject button.  What else? “Paraguay” with the imminently quotable “You take your motherfucking laptop and just shove it into your goddamn foul mouth, down your shit heeled gizzard, you fucking phony, two-faced, three-timing piece of turd…” might not sound as good as it reads ,but it sure reads real good.

In the end, you will be trying too hard just as I did, writing a full review when a snide one line would have been enough. Josh isn’t much of a Bowie, he isn’t even much of a Josh, and Iggy ain’t Iggy. And why should he be? The fucking phony, two-faced, three-timing pieces of turd…

Grade: C-

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