Amazing Disgrace (DGC)
by Nik Rainey
They’re from Seattle but they don’t mope or yowl, they’re more interested in pop songcraft than Black Sabbath Flag an(gs)thems, and the Northwest hype machine splashed mud in their face as it rumbled past… is it any wonder that The Posies are beginning to sound a little pissed off? Sharp melodic construction, ringing guitars and gorgeous harmonies have never been less commercially viable than they are now; strangely, gimmick-free tunesmithery has been rendered more alternative than alternative, and has brought a few wasps into their bouquet. The goose-pimple sing-alongs of albums past are still there, but now they’re more likely to be supporting such cheery sentiments as “big birds flying overhead/ who gives a shit?” or “everybody is a fucking liar.” (Radio-friendly tunes that can’t be played on the radio – now that’s subversion.) And even when they’re not transferring their quarters from the jukebox to the swear jar, they’re shoving their fingers down the throat of love (“Daily Mutilation,” “Hate Song”) and reminding the hard-pop pose brigades that they’re just doing the Dü (“Grant Hart”) to a club-toughened drum sound and rougher-hewn (but still tuneful) guitars that know every cheap trick in the book. (I am obligated by law at this point to mention that Robin Zander and Rick Neilsen guest star on “Hate Song.” There, it’s mentioned.) All this is not to say that they leave uplift in the lurch (the chorus to “World” ascends up my spine beautifully) nor that Northwest nihilism has tainted the psychedelicacies the Posies could always be counted on to deliver, but if we don’t break down and make these guys stars soon, they may be forced to take up smack and start mumbling just to make ends meet. Hell yes, that’s a threat.