Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks - Pig Lib

2003's Pig Lib is Stephen Malkmus' second album in his own name, this time his band the Jicks get equal billing.  It opens with Water and a Seat, where Malkmus' guitars initially sound quite unhinged and all over the place with a vocal to match, but somehow it resolves into a lurching, swaggering guitar rocker, allowing Malkmus to show off his (considerable) skills.  It's an awkward bugger of a track that aims high but ultimately falls just a little short.  Ramp of Death and (Do Not Feed The) Oyster are more low key, but are fine tunes, the latter featuring a searing guitar solo.  Vanessa From Queens is a slight, mellow tune but Sheets is a far more involving track, drenched in guitars and melody.  Later, two highlights include Animal Midnight, a track that ebbs and flows before unleashing a soaring guitar solo, and gently swaggering rocker Witch Mountain Bridge.  Elsewhere in the latter half of the album the quality does tail off with the throwaway Dark Wave, The Craw and the way-too-long-at-nine-minutes 1% of One, a repetitive babble of a track.  The album would work well for fans of Pavement, and it's an engaging album if you like your guitars.