Review: Concrete Blonde

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Concrete Blonde
“Group Therapy”
(Manifesto Records)

This is Concrete Blonde’s first album of all-new material since 1994.  They’ve been called “post-punk icons” but I’m not quite sure what that means.  When did the post-punk era begin and what do we do with all those punk bands still roving the U.S. countryside?  If it’s a post-punk era then it would seem these relics of another age should be herded up and not allowed to dot the landscape any longer. What can I say about Concrete Blonde when I don’t think I’ve ever heard them before this album?  I’m useless as a marker of their progress when I’ve no clue where they’ve been.  What I will say is I like this album.  The second song, “Violent,” seers with truth and dark under rhythms juxtaposed against a poppy upbeat drum track.  If you could go back in time it’d be a terrific song to sing on September 10th 2001.  The general soundscape of the album is a darkness that lurks beneath the light intensity of well-written pop ditties.  If this is a come back album then it’s a welcome come back; it’s not like, oh, say, the comeback of the Bush family to the presidency of the United States.  That wasn’t a welcome comeback at all.  That was a comeback that smacked of conspiracy, racism and the interests of rich oil swilling bastards to fuck us all and kill the poor some more.  They stole our country from us and intend to bomb the living fuck out of any nation that refuses to allow them to plunder their resources and exploit their people for the profits of themselves and their investors.  The ascendancy of the Bush clan back into world politics is the greatest single blight upon world affairs since Eichmann and Reinhard met for tea in Wannsee. I guess the Concrete Blonde album is okay.  I give it twenty-nine thumbs up and seven-hundred-twenty-two stars out of a possible one-thousand-four-hundred-eighty-eight.