Gimme Skelter

Gimme Skelter

Various Artists

Buddyhead / Nettwerk America

This is one that I’m sure lots of folks will be looking to pick up. Gimme Skelter is a celebration of rock put together by the folks at Buddyhead, and they somehow managed to get a bunch of wonderful bands to contribute tracks. The funniest thing about my copy is that there are occasional voiceovers on every single track to prevent me, and other writers, from uploading these tracks to Kazaa; apparently, the voiceovers are provided courtesy of a drunken “The Captain” of the Icarus Line.

So anyway, the disc opens with Iggy Pop spewing about New York and how much commercialism sucks. His words are clichéd and predictable, but it’s nice to hear a legend still making himself relevant.

Mudhoney’s track is really slow and sludgy, but they still sound powerful, especially Mark Arm. I figured that their track would be some watered down piece of crap, but it is actually quite tough.

There are few things in the world that I loathe more than New York’s Yeah Yeah Yeahs, so it’s not surprising that their song “Shot Down” makes me want to vomit. Full of posturing, and lots of snot, this is yet another chapter in their novel of terribly written and performed screamy garage rock.

The Pleasure Forever song is so boring that I dozed off…

The Burning Brides track, “Overhead Metal Erection,” sounds like a bad Soundgarden b-side from the Badmotorfinger sessions. Lots of thick guitars, slow and sludgy riffs and drums, and an awful vocalist.

I was amazed to see that Primal Scream contributed a song! Their offering is a version of the wonderful “Shoot Speed / Kill Light,” recorded live in Japan. It captures the band in absolutely incredible form, and it rocked me harder than any song of the compilation, up to this point. The guitars on this track are really loud and abrasive!

Dead Meadow’s song is slow and trippy stoner rock, and is totally forgettable.

The Starvations’ track is very boring and lacks any point whatsoever.

“Up in Flames,” by Beehive and The Barracudas, is a decent party-time track, with a repetitive chorus and rudimentary guitar lines. It’s not good, by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s better than the previous few songs.

Your Enemies Friends offer up one of the first good songs on the compilation, “Back of a Taxi.” It rocks in a melodic post-punk kind of way, with lots of keyboards melodies in the background and a hot guitar solo to boot. The guitar is a straight ahead rocker, and features spectacular sound production.

The compilation returns to sucking cock with the terribly overrated Le Tigre. The production is intentionally lo-fi garbage, and the song is garage rock blather with moronic lyrics. I hate hipster crap like this.

The incredibly old, yet quite influential Wire offer up a remix of “Spent,” and they show that they’re still much better than 80% of the bands on this compilation. The song is much harder than the original, and is totally worth checking out for the die-hard Wire fan.

“Intro/Yearly Note” was my introduction to Radio Vago and I am pleasantly surprised. This song is spaced-out minimalist rock stuff, similar to a cross between Mazzy Star, The Cure and Elliott, with really loud and overdriven bass.

Thank God Cave-In is on this compilation. I swear, if you gave these guys a pile of shit, they could build a golden temple. “Harmless…” is a demo from their latest full-length that didn’t make it to the album. It rocks hard and isn’t as wussy as a lot of their newer stuff. To be honest, this song is so good that it alone makes this compilation worth picking up.

All I can say about the fact that Weezer is on this album is, “O.M.G!” Ask anyone with taste what the greatest Weezer record is, and they’ll tell you, of course, that it is the wonderful Pinkerton. Well, let me tell you that “You Won’t Get With Me Tonight” came from the same creative brain vomit that gave us Pinkerton! Yes, this is a demo from the Pinkerton sessions, and it’s better than pretty much everything they’ve done since that album. I’m not exaggerating!

The lovely and talented Icarus Line offer up “Losing Touch With My Mind,” which pretty much sounds like a tougher version of The Jesus and Mary Chain, slowed down a bit.

Shat provides a fairly humorous song about Christina Aguilera, and the compilation closes with a funny phone call to Iggy Pop.

Overall, this compilation is essentially eight good songs and a bunch that are really crappy. I must say, though, that the eight good songs on Gimme Skelter make it a wise purchase. It is a decent album, but I could have done without the filler surrounding the good songs.

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