The Stooges

The Weirdness (Virgin)

The Weirdness ain't punk-classic like Fun House, but let's be fair — nothing the recently reunited Stooges can do will ever match their early-Seventies peak. This band does rock, however. Ax-man Ron Asheton is not only a funky-ass rhythm freak, but the dude's piercing feedback screech on "Greedy Awful People" and "She Took My Money" should be studied by every retro-garage hack making the scene. As for the 59-year-old Iggy, well, Pop's monotone death poetry works in spite of itself — like it always has. Just check out these chestnuts: "My idea of fun is killing everyone" and "My dick is turning into a tree." Awesome. The biggest problem here is Steve Albini's just-the-facts production, an approach that works only when the band he's recording possesses a unique live sound (In Utero-era Nirvana, Burning Witch). But at this stage in the band's career, the Stooges can no longer deliver blitzed-out warfare like "I Got a Right." So in order to transform what's essentially a darned good collection of noisy bar rock into something truly great, they should have picked a producer willing to trick out these recordings, like RTX's Jennifer Herrema or Andrew W.K., both of whom are avant-cock-rock magicians. Still, The Weirdness shits all over 90 percent of the young-guy rock out there.

 
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