Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments

  • Bait and Switch [Onion/American, 1995] A-
  • Straight to Video [Anyway, 1997] A-
  • No Old Guy Lo-Fi Cry [Rockathon, 2000] ***

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Bait and Switch [Onion/American, 1995]
Formerly leader of the slovenly folk-rockers Great Plains, among whose achievements was the best song ever written about Rutherford B. Hayes, Columbus lifer Ron House demonstrates on this $800 debut album that punk and youth need have nothing to do with each other anymore. First five tracks rush by in a perfect furious tunefest, climaxing with a bar song called "Cheater's Heaven" that's ripe for total rearrangement by anybody in Nashville with some guts left. After that recognition is less instantaneous except on "RnR Hall of Fame," which comes with liner notes to match: "TJSA proudly accept the honor of being indicted by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame . . . " If indie scenes are so full of wordwise ne'er-do-wells like this, how come they never put it on tape? A-

Straight to Video [Anyway, 1997]
Ron House makes the sex life of an aging punk in an overgrown college town sound active, raunchy, and not without spiritual rewards--in addition to the professional shank shaker and the prostitute with her leg half chewed off, he fucks several women with truly enormous libraries. He also bids an unsentimental farewell to Lester Bangs and complains about the age of the spectacle. A-

No Old Guy Lo-Fi Cry [Rockathon, 2000]
He's always better when you listen to the words, and he's not making it any easier ("Internet Is Just Bad Pot," "Hell"). ***