Pleasure Forever CD review [Sub Pop]

Music Reviews
Pleasure Forever CD review [Sub Pop]
May 6, 2003, 01:19


A Gordion knot is a knot so complicated that you cannot see a way to untie it, so you just cut the damn thing apart. Pleasure Forever are a befuddling Gordion knot to try and critically unravel, so perhaps it's best to just give it a mighty chop and say it's hep, as opposed to “hip” as the latter implies superficiality and only temporary worth.

Alter often rocks hard, yet is not reductionary as “hard” rock some times tends to be. Pleasure Forever consciously strive for swankness and usually attain it, yet they scupper any incipient preciousness with a pronounced devil-may-care swagger—nicely expressed by rock guitar-spasming. The lyrics are usually erudite but care is taken not to broadcast condescending literary pretension as they are slurred via the same sneerful vocal attack. It recalls Darby Crash or Chris D. at their respective finest: sexful, snarky, howling—offhand yet urgent.

There is abundant “rock” clangor and motive force to be found exultantly snaking through various modes o' cabaret, barrelhouse, and brothel-bound rhythmic/melodic prejudices. Plush, minor key mellifluence, swooning and swaning about, at the point of elegant collapse. The result is waltz and ragtime, and vaudeville #s too, all too willing to copulate opulently into a melded giddy orgy.

Alter could be long-lost tracks mistakenly left off The Idiot or Black Love— and they woulda been among the high point of those worthy items. This is very special stuff. [Sub Pop]

-Howard W

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