Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Mike Watt

  • Contemplating the Engine Room [Columbia, 1997] C+

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Contemplating the Engine Room [Columbia, 1997]
Credwise, Watt's got it all. He was the fulcrum of a great band, he's serious with a sense of humor about it, he's got not just politics but class consciousness, he talks a great game, and, oh yeah, he networks like crazy. The only thing he isn't is a compelling artist. He can't sing at all, can't write much, and still pretends the bass solo is a viable musical form. Like fIREHOSE (sic), like his name-dropping solo debut, this "punk rock opera" ("I just hate the words 'concept record.' That's fucking tired-ass, where opera's funny") looks great on paper and hasn't been played for a year by anyone it impressed. It will prove a valuable resource for the numerous forthcoming doctoral dissertations on the alternative rock subculture. C+