The Baptist Generals
No Silver/No Gold
Most times, when a review package arrives on your doorstep, you’re greeted by a bunch of artists that you’re vaguely or intimately familiar with. Occasionally you have the mystery discs — the ones that you can’t remember ever asking for — and out of them, a few turn out to be mindblowing. Most are mediocre, and a few make your blood run cold with their sheer, blinding awfulness.
Unfortunately, No Silver/No Gold falls into the last subcategory, although I’m not sure whether this is more unfortunate for them or me. The disc’s opener, “Ay Distress,” is a bleary-eyed ode to mediocre songwriting, punctuated at its end by a phone unexpectedly ringing in the studio. Lead singer Chris Flemmons’ violent reaction to the interruption — a little too venomous to be funny — is enough to completely overshadow the preceding track. Not to worry, though, because as it stands, The Baptist Generals seem to have nailed the art of annoying non-songs, devoid of soul or structure (not really conducive to mood-building, and able to be overshadowed by almost anything).
Things don’t improve much at the album progresses, although at least the introduction of percussion makes sure that the group don’t just stop and wallow for elasticated periods of time. On the whole, No Silver/No Gold is frustrating, boring and utterly dull. Be prepared to grit your teeth.
Sub Pop Records: http://www.subpop.com/