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The Stooges -- The Weirdness (Virgin)

By Brian Baker · March 7th, 2007 · Short Takes
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  The Stooges -- The Weirdness
The Stooges -- The Weirdness



Thirty-three years ago, Iggy Pop and his band of virulently talented miscreants known as The Stooges unleashed a withering barrage of seminal Punk called Raw Power, a kick to the complacent ball sack of popular music at the time. That album alone could have cemented the Stooges' rep for eternity but it was merely the third panel in a bleak but glorious triptych that included the first two Stooges albums (their 1969 eponymous debut and 1970's harrowing Funhouse) and heralded the beginning of Iggy's singular three-decade solo career.

After reuniting with original Stooges Ron and Scott Asheton for a quartet of tracks on 2005's Skull Ring, Iggy decided to make it permanent and the trio (along with Minutemen/fIREHOSE bassist Mike Watt in tow; original bassist Dave Alexander overdosed in '75) set about to make their first full album since Raw Power, the new and aptly titled The Weirdness. Given the iconic status that Iggy has attained over the past 30 years, it's impossible to consider The Weirdness as a follow-up to Raw Power (which actually had Ron Asheton in the bass slot, replaced by James Williamson). The Iggy Pop who guided the original Stooges was an urban Punk pirate who painted his visceral sonic visions of a futureless existence against the backdrop of his limited experiences in a desolate Detroit, while the Iggy Pop who fronts the new Stooges is an internationally renowned and influential artist. It's hard to draw a straight line between the two. Still, The Weirdness is an incredibly powerful document of one of Rock's most blazingly original bands reimagining itself 30 years on. Most of what made the Stooges great in their prime is here; the murky, black-hole production (courtesy this time of Steve Albini), Steve MacKay's bleating sax fills, Ron Asheton's pummeling yet nuanced guitar menace, Scott Asheton's hammer-of-the-minor-gods drumming and Iggy's barking mad antics up front. Less in evidence is the band's psychotic soul, the byproduct of their original blending of industrial Punk Metal and Motown, but they still swing at top volume with the wild abandon of bands one-third their ages. Given the time and tides that have worn and washed lesser bands away, The Weirdness is a vital testament to the resurrected Stooges, one of America's most incendiary musical treasures. (Brian Baker) Grade: A-

 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
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