Thursday, July 28, 2005

Orange Juice / The Glasgow School / Rating 9.3

How much time does a typical music journalist spend listening to a cd before he or she writes about it? I am certain the pendulum swing of possible answers is wide but I would hazard to guess they would span from once to weeks and weeks of daily spins. I think how much time a person spends with a record among a million other variables should be considered with each review you read so let me preface this review by saying this: I have been collecting records for over 20 years and not once in all my discoveries of an Orange Juice record did I decide to purchase one.

I have heard their music via friends and radio during this long span of time and was never swayed to the point of purchase. It doesn’t mean I hate them or think they are not an important puzzle piece to the history of indie rock but I personally never liked them enough to add them to my collection of records. I was given an advance of this cd several months ago and I have played the cd at least once a week every since. Once Pitchfork reviewed it I started playing it three times a day. Friends, I still can’t say I am fan. I fear saying I don’t like Orange Juice is like saying I don’t like my Grandpa and there for I am bad bad person but it’s the truth Ruth. I am prepared to take kick to the shins and confused stares that look something like disgust. I know that face well, it’s the same one people make when I tell them I love King Kong (the band) or confess I don’t worship The Velvet Underground.

The press has been extremely supportive of “The Glasgow School” and again I understand why in theory. They were the anti-Pistols. They were pop romantics scrawling jangle and twee when the rest of world was trying very hard to be ROCK. The addition of Zimbabwe-born drummer Zeke Manyika led the band to explore a more Afro-funk path, yet another angle to distinguish them from the other U.K. trends in music. Seminal bands swear by them. (Belle and Sebastian, Franz, The Vaselines, The Pastels and The Smiths to name a few) Everything in the PFM review is pretty right on the money and the only thing the review neglects to mention is the incredibly detailed packaging. The cd case is basically a small hardbound book, which includes 7 pages of history and band images. This would all be awesome if I loved the music.

I suggest this Domino Record’s Orange Juice cd to anyone dying to connect the indie rock dots between decades or who are looking to add V.U. influenced stuff to their collection but if you ask me if they like them I will shoegaze and whisper no.