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The Stooges - The Weirdness

The Stooges, Weirdness

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

WHAT else could you expect from The Stooges other than an album of full steam ahead rock and roll? In their heyday from 1969 to 1974, they became one of the most influential American rock acts of all-time, paving the way for both the punk and heavy metal movements.

Fronted by Iggy Pop, the band put out three seminal albums (The Stooges, Fun House and Raw Power) before their hedonistic lifestyle began to take its toll and they were eventually dropped by their label and forced to go their separate ways.

The band reformed in 2003 and their current line-up comprises original members Pop, Ron and Scott Asheton, as well as Steve MacKay on sax and Mike Watt on bass.

New album The Weirdness is the sound of a band rolling back the years. It’s a breathless collection of ball-busting rock songs, given extra grit by Pop’s lived-in vocals.

Original fans of the band will enjoy the nostalgia trip, while newcomers will be able to tick off the names of contemporary artists who have clearly been influenced by them (everyone from Kurt Cobain to The Pixies etc).

What’s more, the album isn’t interested in re-inventing the band, rather getting back and thrashing out songs for the sake of the good old times.

The songs thunder out in quick succession – sometimes impressing, other times merely existing. It’s unapologetically formulaic for this kind of thing and just as intense as an Iggy Pop live performance (you can practically imagine him staggering/swaggering about on the stage, stripped to the waist, or further, and dripping sweat).

Unlike bands like The Rolling Stones, or performers such as Eric Clapton, their sound hasn’t mellowed with the years. They’re still as angry and confrontational as ever before, the guitars trading blows with the sax, while Pop’s voice screams out over them.

Trollin’ sets things rolling in suitably gutsy fashion, before the likes of My Idea Of Fun, Free & Freaky, She Took My Money and Mexican Guy provide the foot-stomping highlights.

Taken as a whole The Weirdness can be a little relentless – but it’s not without its magic moments.

Download picks: My Idea Of Fun, Free & Freaky, She Took My Money, Mexican Guy

Track listing:

  1. Trollin’
  2. You Can’t Have Friends
  3. ATM
  4. My Idea Of Fun
  5. The Weirdness
  6. Free & Freaky
  7. Greedy Awful People
  8. She Took My Money
  9. The End Of Christianity
  10. Mexican Guy
  11. Passing Cloud
  12. I’m Fried