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Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks, Wig Out at Jagbags (Matador Records)




Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks, Wig Out at Jagbags (Matador Records)
Album review

01/16/14
By Eric Saeger news@hippopress.com



 It’s been 16 years since the last Pavement album, and Malkmus, as of now, has accumulated more releases with this group than the vaunted Stockton, Calif., indie powerhouse. This is concrete evidence that time does in fact march on, but beyond that, is it finally time to write off this not-the-Zappa as a despicable Fall fanboy whose ironic, quirky joke lyrics and timidly confused voice were never really all that awesome? Wig Out isn’t as jam-bandy as 2011’s Mirror Traffic, but maybe it should have been — carrying the weight of the low-rent songs themselves, Malkmus sounds archaic, from a time where indie meant indie (at least there’s that still in place) and people appreciated the opportunity to listen to crummy songs sung by David Byrne wannabes, which is what Malkmus sounds like now. Before you start: No, the totally, totally side-splitting irony and irreverence aren’t lost on me, and I do hope that the album boosts his standard of living at his new digs in Berlin, Germany. But the album (produced by Beck, and it shows) and its sleepy surf-campfire single “Lariat” in particular, smell like a set of tunes that are trying too hard, which, given Malkmus’s maturity (he’s 47 now, you crazy kids) and his stoner pigeonhole, shouldn’t make anyone jealous of his current lot. C+ — Eric W. Saeger

 
As seen in the January 16th, 2014 issue of The Hippo





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