Decent, and nothing more. It always surprises me that there are people who think that Pavement’s best was their debut because of its significance/influence when it was their second worst (although I think this view is changing with the speed of Usain Bolt standing still on a glacier). Two years after Slanted & Enchanted and Watery, Domestic, they stopped hiding behind noise as soon as they realized they didn’t need a shield, focusing instead on world-weary yet warm melodies and/or potent guitar lines, while Stephen Malkmus stopped writing little nothings and casually and quietly stole the best lyricist of the 90s award.
~”Texas Never Whispers” is an apt title for a song that kicks up a lot of ruckus: the opening twenty-some seconds, like a wounded elephant charging into battle; guitar sprays warding off some neat drum rolls in the middle; neat coda.
~”Frontlines” has this really awful moment if you’re hearing it on headphones (no problem on stereo), at the 2:33 mark when Malkmus sings “We’re leaving.” The wavering noise that slices up his word takes you out of the warmth the song built up to that point. They regain they’re footing with the frontward-looking “It’s pattern’s torn / And we’re weaving / This battle’s torn / And we’re weaving.” Good guitar riff, otherwise.
~I heard “Feed Em to the (Linden) Lions” twice today and couldn’t tell you a thing about it.
~”Shoot the Singer (1 Sick Verse)” is good, I guess. Not much to shout about, and I’m not sure which verse Malkmus is referring to in the title. I do know that “Where he stood, no one stands / It’s been said he’s sitting now” will mean a lot two years later when he shouts “I’VE BEEN SITTING HERE TOO LONG” as he rouses up a quiet revolution.