Bottom – You’rNext – Review


You’rNext (Small Stone)
by Brian Varney

To call You’rNext a surprise would not be an understatement. Over the course of the band’s first two albums and about a million and a half live gigs, the three women of Bottom shaped a more or less recognizable riff-rock sound. Familiar-sounding, yes, but tightly-hewn and energetically-rendered enough, especially in the live setting, to make it their own.

bottomphotoHowever, based on the sound of You’rNext, the third Bottom album, the couple of years between the previous full-length, Feels So Good When You’re Gone, and this seem to’ve been marred by either serious drug addiction, nasty breakups, or perhaps both, because You’rNext is a barren, nearly tuneless landscape uneasily pulsing with long bouts of sustained feedback that are interrupted by harsh guttural gasps, irregular drumbeats that disappear as quickly and mysteriously as they appear, and incongruous touches like the flute (I think) that snakes along beneath “By a Thread.” It’s like a collection of the densest, most impenetrable parts of the difficult Melvins records, and you can tell from the feeling of nastiness hanging about that there will be no redemption forthcoming.

I very rarely listen to those difficult Melvins records, so I may not be the best judge of this album’s quality. I can predict without much difficulty that there will be some pissed-off headbangers who come to this album in search of the metallic riff-rock leanings of previous outings.