Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Stephen Malkmus - Face The Truth

The third solo album from Stephen Malkmus came out in 2005, opening with the jarring squeaks of Pencil Rot.  Buried underneath annoying studio trickery is a half decent tune.  Not far into the album we get the vaguely irritating I've Hardly Been, not the ideal start!  Thankfully It Kills, is the kind of guitar heavy, relaxed tune Malkmus has made his own post-Pavement, with a little snatch of banjo and a hint at, of all things, Rod Stewart's Do You Think I'm Sexy thrown in.  The easy, lazy charm of Freeze The Saints works well, enhanced by some really excellent guitar work.

But the eight minute No More Shoes is the centrepiece.  Sounding pure seventies, the song is built on a rolling guitar riff and a 'do-do-ing' refrain which acts as a jumping off point for Malkmus to indulge in some awesome guitar work.  It's a powerful track and the best thing on the album.  After this, Mama is a bit of a throwaway, sounding like a cross between The Beatles' Ballad of John and Yoko and Creedence Clearwater Revival's Rollin' On A River.  And what follows isn't too inspiring.  Kindling for the Master aims for the same poise as Bowie's Golden Years, while other tracks such as Post Paint Boy and Baby C'mon would be fairly run of the mill only for Malkmus' guitar work.  So overall, not a standout effort within Stephen Malkmus' catalogue but rescued by some decent tunes and some above average guitar work.