Fast, tight, and ready for action, it’s entertaining, exuberant and fun.
Nick Reynolds 2007-03-02
Grunt! Bang! Guitars swagger, drums thump while the singer tells us his dick is getting hard. It has to be: The Stooges.
In 1974 the Stooges collapsed in a mess of drugs, violence, hostility and indifference. If you had predicted that their comeback would be the most eagerly awaited album of 2007 you would have been scorned and laughed at. But in those 30 years the rest of world has caught up. Without The Stooges there would have been no punk rock. Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols learned all his tricks from the Funhouse album. And people slowly realised that for no-frills, visceral rock 'n' roll, those first three Stooges albums could not be beaten.
And neither can this one. It’s where guitarist Ron Asheton reclaims his title as the most exciting player on the planet. This album is stuffed full of head shaking riffs, outrageous, excessive fretboard moments and ridiculous wah-wah pedal abuse. Ron’s guitar shrieks like an electric eel and Steve Albini’s mix shoves it right in your face. Brother Scott on drums may miss the odd beat, but the Stooges still motor along on a powerful groove that belongs to them and no one else.
As for singer Iggy Pop, he sounds damn cheerful and ready to fool around. He goes for belly laughs on the satire of “Free & Freaky” and “Greedy Awful People”. Girls are on his mind most of the time, even when he waxes philosophical on “The End of Christianity”. He gets mellow on the title track and “Passing Cloud” but the only time he revisits the dark heart of the likes of “TV Eye” is the brutal, anti-war protest of “My Idea Of Fun”. He’s not an intense forgotten boy anymore, he’s a relaxed elder statesman, and it suits him.
This is a punk album, with twelve short tracks that race by in forty minutes. Fast, tight, and ready for action, it’s entertaining, exuberant and fun.