It?s hard to argue that punk rock could or should have come to anything other than this. If the point was ever to confuse, mystify, totally aggravate, well, then, this is how you do it in 2005. They know well the touchstones and referents (Minutemen, Wire, Joy Division, Can, Residents, and I?ll be Dick Cheney?s personal assistant if ?In Khartoum? isn?t the funniest Slint impression ever waxed), but unlike so many of the rest of us plebes, they give no impression that they care about them whatsoever. They, like everything, are simply means to an end: bullhorns from which to spew forth grim hoopla celebrating the decline and fall of absolutely everything. They will warp their battered synthesizers down to pitches too low to be recognized by humans, and you will listen. They will number ?Problem?? (featuring the crazed mumble ?I am a painter. And I am a horse!? as its only lyric) among their ?very best? work, and you will agree. Why?
I have no idea. I feel certain that I am paraphrasing someone when I say that if I understood this kind of music at all, I?d make it and license it to the most demented movies and/or children?s shows available. But I don?t. I?m just in awe of the violent shifts from dead-eyed exotica like ?Egyptian Assassin? to the almost straight hardcore of ?Normal Man? and ?Why We Are Lazy? (?because the future goes to the slipshod?) to the accurately-titled ?Man Urinating, Laughter? to the Devo-on-helium ?Vote Fraud on the Moonbase? to?I could go on and on. Men?s Recovery Project are not looking to save your (or my) little life; they would rather put a knee to your neck while splattering you with malt liquor and ketchup. They just might do both. 9/10 -- Sal Addays (24 October, 2005)