Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Blue Oyster Cult: Tyranny and Mutation [Columbia, 1973]
Says S. Pearlman: "We want to be disgusting, not trans-repulsive." Says R. Meltzer: "This is really hard rock comedy." Musically, Long Island's only underground band impales the entire heavy ethos on a finely-honed guitar neck, often at high speed, which is the punch line. And the lyrics aren't inaudible, just unbelievable--a parody-surreal refraction of the abysmal "poetry" of heavy, with its evil women and gods of hellfire. Which is not to suggest that it doesn't become what it takes off from. But is that bad or good? B+