Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Rock'n'roll, Big and Dumb

Magazine article New Statesman (1996)

Rock'n'roll, Big and Dumb

Article excerpt

The Weirdness

The Stooges


The Stooges, like MC5 and the New York Dolls, are a recently re-formed band high on any skinny young rocker's list of influences. They cannot be begrudged a lucrative comeback; when they were making their most incredible music, hardly anyone was buying it.


Steve Albini, producer of Nirvana's In Utero, is one of many notable musicians the Stooges touched with their raw, unhinged trio of late Sixties/early Seventies albums, which laid the groundwork for punk and grunge. He fulfils a lifetime's ambition by working on this, their first studio album in 34 years. As is Albini's style, he basically leaves the band to it--but what once would have sounded shockingly unrestrained now just seems messy.

The wild-eyed persona of the Stooges' frontman, Iggy Pop, today seems more amusing than threatening. He will turn 60 this year, and while we could hardly expect one of rock's biggest lunatics to start singing about fishing and arthritis, it is still unsettling to hear him announcing, "My dick is turning into a tree" on the pounding opener, "Trollin'". …

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