Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
Books
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
CG Search:
Google Search:
Twitter:

Magazine

  • Secondhand Daylight [Virgin International, 1979] C
  • After the Fact [I.R.S., 1982] C+

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Secondhand Daylight [Virgin International, 1979]
If it weren't for the two great singles--"Shot by Both Sides" (available on Real Life, now also released domestically) and "I Love You You Big Dummy" (a B-side Beefheart cover)--I'd be certain this was the most overrated band in new-wave Britain. And given the grandiose arrangements, ululating vocals, and published-poet lyrics, I'm pretty sure anyway. Back in the good old days we had a word for this kind of thing--pretentious. C

After the Fact [I.R.S., 1982]
Everything you need and more from ex-Buzzcock Harold Devoto's pioneering foray into postpunk pretension. "Shot by Both Sides" was all too paranoid, "I Love You You Big Dummy" a prescient tribute, "Goldfinger" not as good as Blondie's or Peter Stampfel's but at least Howard recorded his. After that, you get the definitive art-twit. We hate you you little smarty. C+