Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

The Psychedelic Furs: The Psychedelic Furs [Columbia, 1980]
They're a posthippie band who satirize hippie fatuousness as well as a punk-era band who send up anti-hippie orthodoxy, but I love them for simpler reasons: they're great junk and they sound like the Sex Pistols. Richard Butler's phrasing and intonation owe so much to Johnny Rotten's scabrous caterwaul that he's got to be kidding and ripping him off simultaneously, and the calculated rave-ups recall the overall effect sought by the punk godfathers, who were always somewhat grander than their speedy, compulsively crude epigones. That's what makes the Furs great junk--it can't be great unless the possibility remains that it's really pretentious. A-