Thursday, September 23, 2010

Review #158: The Stooges - Raw Power (1973)


Year: 1973
Genre: Hard Rock, Punk Rock
Label: Columbia Records
Tracks: 8
Length: 34 Minutes
Style: Rough/Fun
My Rating: 6/8

Last time I reviewed a Stooges record I actually reviewed their first album, but now I've skipped over to their third album (I own all three) to review for now. I was in the local FYE and asked the person who works there whether I should get this album or special-order "26 Songs" by the Melvins and she recommended this one. Well, it was pretty pricey, but a good record is always worth it, so I spent all the money I had on it. And it WAS good. You got a great picture of Iggy on the front, looking even wilder than he did on the cover of their first record, and some fuck-tastic performance photos in the back. And we all know Iggy Pop does some crazy shit on stage, setting the standard for shock-rock performers who would emulate his erratic stage-antics (like Darby Crash) or take them to a whole new level (like GG Allin). I think he even invented the stage-dive, but I'm not sure if that's true or not.

Anyways, this iz a wild n' sleazy punker party sort of album, and the title fits it well, possibly because it's one of the loudest records I've ever heard, but it just has that chaotic ultra-positive vibe to it -- it's harder than both the albums before it and even more than a lot of "punk rock" that came out in the years following this album. So, let's buckle up for the ride n' SEE WHAT'S IN STORE WHEN I UNLEASH SOME RAW POWER INTO MY HEAD-PHONES!

1. Search and Destroy
You can feel the speakers rattle when you put this on and feel those gritty guitar vibes. And Iggy Pop is not only a forgotten boy, but he iz the WORLD'S forgotten boy. And NOT just that either. He's also the ONE who searches n' destroys. A lot of "garage punk" bands of today seem to emulate this sound with the whole loud-as-possible approach. The song has a pretty confident feel and there's a lot of lead guitar n' shit.

2. Gimme Danger
Man, that acoustic guitar melody at the beginning. Those strings just pierce right into your ear and right into your soul. It's hard to get that sound from modern production techniques. This is definitely one of my favorite songs on the album, with the combination of electric and acoustic guitar that I really like. The guitar solo that begins around 1:20 of the song is just golden. Nice beat, also.

3. Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell
Man, I can't think of anything that sounds more delightfully scumballish! I'm not sure if it's Iggy singing on this one or Ron Asheton (bassist) singing, since he is also credited as a vocalist and the voice sounds pretty different. It's just a rabidly sexual-type song with a violent energy to it and some of the meanest vocals you've ever heard!

4. Penetration
The guitar riff here is more on the heavy-metal side, and Iggy sort of does this half-whisper-half-yell singing voice here. One and a half minute in: really weird singing of gibberish! Side A ends here.

5. Raw Power
A hard rock-n-roller with a real cool bass melody and a little piano mixed in, also. "Raw power's got a healing hand/raw power can destroy a man"; yeah, that Raw Power shit izn't to be toyed around with, children!! Guitar solo at ze ende. Uf ze saing.

6. I Need Somebody
A slower, more blues-y song. The chorus is mildly catchy. Probably the calmest moment on the album. Gives me a desert/cactus sort of vibe for some reason (I drew a cactus on my arm today). A cactus is a neat thing to look at. Its needles are actually the leaves of the plant and it's got a big, fleshy stem... you can eat them also! I see cactus parts for sale at the grocery store (and I swear to God I'll try one before I die!).

7. Shake Appeal
I believe the Melvins's song "Snake Appeal" was titled as sort of a tribute to this one. Lots of hand-clapping for this song. Really cool guitar melody. Great chorus melody also. Kind of unexpected and jittering like that. The guitar solo in the bridge section is excellent ass well. "Ass". Ha. Ha. HAAAAAAaaa. Iggy makes funny noises for the rest of the song.

8. Death Trip
My other favorite song from the album. Pure power! RAW POWER! RAW POWAH! And the "raw power" in this one completely lies in the riff, man. Or wo-man. Whichever one you are. Also the longest song, clocking in (I know, it's an over-used cliche) at six minutes! The bridge section is the high-point of this song, with just that riff that never gets old, Iggy screamin', and the endless sonic chatter of those wild rock-n'-roll GUITARS!!!

So that's eight songs of RAW POWER, kidz. Not a "weak" record by any means and serves as a good bridge between hard rock and punk rock. Apparently it was also Kurt Cobain's favorite album. Personally I like the debut album better, but I'd say this one's just a tad better if not equal to "Fun House". But yes, check it aut. And I'm aut. Aut.

Top 3 Favorites:
1. Gimme Danger
2. Death Trip
3. Shake Appeal

No comments:

Post a Comment