Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Left for Dead
Shake It

Second album from Midwestern drone rockers is just fairly superb

This Cincinnati four-some barely play out and have managed a single two-week tour in two-plus years. Their second album is less superb than 2005's Funeral Dress. But it's still fairly superb. Then, former Ass Pony Chuck Cleaver had a hand in seven of eleven songs; now, his partner in art and life, Lisa Walker, takes eight of twelve. More soulful, sinewy and sexy than first appears, Walker's solicitous voice suits lyrics that mix goodly dollops of Midwestern Christianity- angels, Communion, a Christmas play, "Killer Trees" that probably include the one where a man named Jesus was left for dead - with the occasional "love is running down my chin." But she's more seductive balanced up against Cleaver's pissed-off tenor and anxious falsetto, as in the irresistible infidelity duet "What's-His-Name." Instrumentally, imagine a Yo La Tengo too tight to get cute or far out dispensing a Velvet Underground derivative fluent enough to warm the erectile tissue of anyone with a thing for guitar drones. Then pray that some day it gets out of Cincinnati.

Rolling Stone, Nov. 15, 2007