Lou Barlow and the Missingmen
= Sentridoh III
Once upon a time, in a magical place called Boston, a band arose out of the 1980s from the ashes of hardcore: Dinosaur Jr. Three guys, J.Mascis on guitar, Lou Barlow on bass, and Murph on drums, laid down tracks over three albums that paved the way for lots of indie rock to come. They fused distortion-drenched guitars with explosive beats and propulsive bass to dig deep into fuzz-toned territories.
And then the band kicked out Lou Barlow, who went on to create even more amazing music with Sebadoh and The Folk Implosion and solo projects – not to mention cutting a great cover version of “Bulletproof” by La Roux – until the original power-fuzz trio decided to get back together and cut two more albums: Beyond and Farm.
Somehow, Barlow found the time to cut eight tracks with Mike Watt and the Missingmen: = Sentridoh III. Thirty minutes just ain’t enough!
From the opening cymbal crescendo/guitar-synth wash of “Apologize” to the chimes-and-cymbals (and thumb harp? Kalimba?) crashing of the hymnal cover version of Skip James’ “I’m So Glad,” Barlow and buddies churn out some amazing music, reworking some of the songs from his previous solo album, Goodnight Unknown.
Listen to the large and operatic “Gravitate/One Machine” followed by the stripped down “On the Face.” Then dig the bluesy, gritty “Caterpillar Girl” and the blistering “Faith Defies the Night” and tell me there isn’t lots of creative energy going on. Barlow proves over the course of eight songs that he knows how to rock AND gaze at his shoes.
My fave may be “Losercore,” which opens with Mike Watts’ unmistakable bass-playing that formed the backbone for both the Minutemen and fIREHOSE. It quickly falls into a hard-driving, rocking postpunk rant: “All you righteous cripples spoiled rotten refuse to grow.”
Listening to this mini-album over and over brings much joy, but also makes me want more.
Losercore. It’s what I’m waitin’ for.