Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  Expert Witness
Books:
  Going Into the City
  Consumer Guide: 90s
  Grown Up All Wrong
  Consumer Guide: 80s
  Consumer Guide: 70s
  Any Old Way You Choose It
  Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Writings:
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Playboy
  Blender
  Rolling Stone
  Billboard
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
  Recyclables
  Newsprint
  Lists
  Miscellany
Bibliography
NPR
Web Site:
  Home
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
  Archive
Venues:
  Noisey
CG Search:
Google Search:
Twitter:

The Clean

  • The Clean Compilation [Homestead, 1988] B+
  • Vehicle [Rough Trade, 1990] A-
  • Unknown Country [Flying Nun, 1996] Dud
  • Anthology [Merge, 2003] ***
  • Mister Pop [Merge, 2009] **

Consumer Guide Reviews:

The Clean Compilation [Homestead, 1988]
These Maureen Tucker fans recorded their entire output six or seven years ago in a New Zealand that considered Split Enz the cat's pyjamas, so no wonder they went for simplicity. Give them credit for some funny moments, like the doc who takes his shot before he gives you yours, but don't expect much in the way or words, because there aren't many. What they care about is droning guitar jams. Allotted a concept notch for knowing they were a groove band. Entire Lyric of Very Nice Farfisa Theme: "Tally ho, tally ho." B+

Vehicle [Rough Trade, 1990]
Sporadic semipros in an Anglo enclave so remote it evades ordinary patterns of formal exhaustion, these three New Zealanders are garage Velvets--even their "eclectic" folk-rock delicacy and speed-pop buzz make the connection. Fortunately, they're too tasteful to pretend they're jaded when they're not--10 years after their first burst there's still a boyish strain about them. And if I remain utterly suspicious of garage exotica, I'm a proud sucker for this quick, hard, flat, lyrical sound--professional no, clean and how. A-

Unknown Country [Flying Nun, 1996] Dud

Anthology [Merge, 2003]
Began crude and ended tired like most mortals, but for two-thirds of these two CDs, they were dronin'! ("Beatnik," "Two Fat Sisters (Live)"). ***

Mister Pop [Merge, 2009]
Too young for '60s nostalgia, so old nobody can tell ("In the Dream Life U Need a Rubber Soul," "Factory Man"). **