Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Minutemen: 3-Way Tie (for Last) [SST, 1985]
Since their uncompromising reach always exceeded their fairly amazing grasp, I tried to cut myself a little critical distance in the wake of a rock death that for wasted potential has Lennon and Hendrix for company. Sure they never sounded better, I said, but they're still a little naive here and conceptual there. Only that wasn't distance--it was denial. D. Boon's singing, writing, and playing here are all infused with a new lyrical lift that adds unexpected buoyancy to a band that was generous at its most cynical and confused, and as a result their zigzag rhythms and interesting conceptualisms get the songful relief they need. After seven fairly amazing years he was just getting started. Shit, shit, shit. A