Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Bang on a Can: Renegade Heaven [Cantaloupe, 2001]
Although only percussionist Steven Schick admits to actually banging on anything, I swear the making of the first two of these five compositions, especially Arnold Dreyblatt's galvanically funky "Escalator," is the live drumming, programmed drumming, and/or divine clatter. After that, as so often with rock-allied downtowners who decline repetition, it's down to texture, only these textures have content. Not only can one live with 16 tonally unstable minutes of a Glenn Branca who has cast off his delusions of grandeur, but Phil Kline's "Exquisite Corpses" risks both program music, which he acknowledges, and melody, which he doesn't. Could this be "post-rock"? Or is it just postconservatory? A-