“You have to make your reputation by being honest and unmerciful.” That’s what legendary rock critic Lester Bangs says in the movie Almost Famous and for me they’ve been words to live by since A&GS was born. I have pulled no punches when it comes to album or live show reviews, and there have been times when I’ve had to endure recordings so bad that I wanted to cut off my own ears. This has led to some vicious and scathing eviscerations of some CD’s over the years, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy doing so. I never set out to write a bad review, but when a band or artist puts out a piece of hot garbage and wastes 40-50 minutes of my time you can bet your ass I’m gonna shout it from the highest rooftops. Which brings us here…
DANZIG. Oh, Glenn Danzig, why do you keep doing this to us, and yourself? This new album Black Laden Crown (out now, Nuclear Blast Records) is simply godawful. I’m not sure I can properly convey just how terrible it is, but I’ll try. Opener and title track “Black Laden Crown” plods along at a dirge-like pace, and Danzig’s voice sucks. “Eyes Ripping Fire” sounds like a garage band of 45-year olds trying to hang onto their youth and failing miserably, while “Devil On Hwy 9” is every bit as craptastic as the title would suggest. It’s fucking noise, pure and simple.
“Last Ride” attempts to mine the blues-rock territory that has worked for him in the past on songs like “I’m the One” from Lucifuge back in 1990, but that is exactly where the similarity ends because quite frankly, this tune is flatter than a pancake at a roadside diner. Oh, and up next we have “The Witching Hour” a cliche of a title if ever there was one with the music to match. Oy vey ist mir, I can’t believe I’ve made it through five songs without jumping out a sixth floor window.
Of the remaining four tracks, “But a Nightmare”, “Skulls &Daisies” (are you KIDDING me with this?!?), “Blackness Falls’, and “Pull the Sun”, the only ones I could stand are the last two, simply because for a few fleeting moments they breaks up the monotony of a one-note pony. But at the same time I can’t even say that they’re standouts because nothing, and I do mean NOTHING on this record stands out from the rest. This may be one of the worst discs I’ve ever sat through in my 44 years on Planet Earth. I cannot stress enough how much you need to avoid new DANZIG at all costs. Listening to a 4-CD collection of Polka’s Greatest Hits would be infinitely better than this shit.
Glenn, just retire already, it’s getting embarrassing for everyone now, not just you.
STANDOUT TRACKS: YOU’RE KIDDING, RIGHT?