Stephen Malkmus – Groove Denied – Album Review by Killian Laher
Much rumoured for some time, Stephen Malkmus has allowed the world to hear his electronic album. It opens with the messy electronics of Belziger Faceplant, possibly the most difficult track here. Things improve with A Bit Wilder. It’s probably the strongest track, it channels LCD Soundsystem over a ludicrously perfect, post-punk bassline. Viktoria Borgia sounds very rooted in the 80s, evoking robotic bands standing behind banks of keyboards.
After this, Come And Get Me is something of a left turn, back to a familiar, guitar-based sound. This will be more digestible for fans of his previous work, as is the sixties sounding Rushing the Acid Frat. It doesn’t last long. Strange looping keyboards dominate the almost ambient Forget Your Place, while Love the Door is back to the album’s geektronic sound.
The electronics work well when he combines them with what he’s best at: good melodies with guitars, and Boss Viscerate and Ocean of Revenge combine these elements very well.
Not an unqualified success nor is it a disaster. However, it’s hard to imagine this album occupying classic status in his back catalogue. Better to consider this an experiment, ‘Kid S’ if you like.