Straight No Chaser

Mike Watt’s latest collaboration is the strangest yet.


Clenched Wrench Records

Seminal bassist Mike Watt has been a part of numerous collaborations, but Spielgusher has to be the strangest yet. This quartet (featuring Yuko Araki on drums, Hirotaka “Shimmy” Shimizu on guitar and Richard Meltzer on vocals with Watt) basically features 63 short diatribes by Meltzer and the other three just wrap some music around it. It’s as if Christopher Walken sat down, told a bunch of really short stories and then set it to music. Many of these are barely a minute long with lines like “My heart is a lump of lard in my throat/ Don’t do the Heimlich/ You’ll kill me” (from the less-than-30-second “Lard”) and it flows like sewage. I get the strange suspicion that this would be much better if you were on some hard drugs. After many of the tracks, I find myself shaking my head and asking, “What?? That means absolutely nothing!” And with tracks like “Tropic of Nipples,” “Geezerology,” “A Nonfatal Jackoff on the Moon,” “Whistle While You Strobe” and the wonderfully titled “F*** My Sister,” I become even more convinced that there is a need for chemicals just to get anything out of this.

Spielgusher sound like they were screwing around in the studio for a few days and then threw it together on an album. Watt’s music is almost always a little left-of-center, but this collaboration is insane. The music is decent, but Meltzer sounds like a senile old coot with dementia rambling about whatever is on his mind while the nurses just shake their heads. Only the bravest of the brave should venture here.

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