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Roygbiv 03-16-2009 09:58 PM

Pavement Discography Review
You saw this one coming, or maybe you didn't, but either way it's here: The Pavement Discography Review. Pavement is one of the most legendary and consistently classic bands to come out of the 90s. If you thinkt Radiohead has a tight 90s discography, just wait till you touch the records here.

Lead genius Stephen Malkmus brought an instantly recognizable voice and attitude to a band that was more punk than anything else at the time, more rock than the grunge bands that passed themselves as such, and to top it all off with a cherry and sprinkles, the lyrics are often hilariously nonsensical and (in later efforts) even psychedelic. But no element that Pavement adopted ever out stayed its welcome, which is what makes each and everyone of their albums a favourite, especially their first three studio albums.

As usual, I'll focus on the studio albums because nobody cares about the live stuff. I will go out of my way to review live albums if they're requested here.

I'll start my review of Slanted & Enchanted tomorrow.

Grievous Angel 03-16-2009 10:18 PM

I look forward to this journal, as beyond Slanted & Enchanted and Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain I'm an idiot when it comes to Pavement. Though I hear those are the only two necessities, I suppose I'll find out with your journal :thumb:

Bulldog 03-17-2009 06:42 AM

I've got a copy of Slanted and Enchanted lying around somewhere, but apart from that I know virtually nowt about Pavement. They're definitely a band that intrigues me though, so I'll be keeping an eye on this one. Looking forward to some reviews man.

simplephysics 03-17-2009 06:47 AM

Awesome Roygbiv, Pavement never fail to entertain me. Even Terror Twilight.

4ZZZ 03-17-2009 06:53 AM

I know nothing about Pavement though I have a brilliant version of The Verlaines Death And The Maiden being covered by Malkmus on a Flying Nun DVD I have.

I'm with Bulldog, looking forward to this and being educated.

This Music Sucks 03-17-2009 11:46 AM

I tried and tried to like Pavement. I just couldn't do it.

Brad Stengel 03-17-2009 11:49 AM

Pavement is probably my favorite 90's band. Their whole discography is great (except Terror Twilight), but nonetheless definately more consistent than the vast majority. Will you also be reviewing EP's and Compilations such as 'Watery, Domestic' or 'Westing (By Musket and Sextant)'?

Roygbiv 03-17-2009 12:02 PM


Originally Posted by Brad Stengel (Post 615946)
Pavement is probably my favorite 90's band. Their whole discography is great (except Terror Twilight), but nonetheless definately more consistent than the vast majority. Will you also be reviewing EP's and Compilations such as 'Watery, Domestic' or 'Westing (By Musket and Sextant)'?

I might have some trouble finding those in this city but if you own them already, or know anyone who does ;) then do hook me up.

mannny 03-17-2009 03:57 PM

Nice, I'm looking forward to this Roygbiv. I'm with 4ZZZ and Bulldog, I haven't ever tried to get into Pavement at all but I've heard so many good things about them.

Roygbiv 03-17-2009 05:09 PM

Slanted & Enchanted [Matador; 1992]

The culmination of all their weird experimentation up to that point, Slanted & Enchanted is also heavily influenced by noise rock and the then niche lo-fi music scene (some may argue that ever since Slanted, lo-fi production skyrocketed from complete obscurity to underground darling). Realized by now indie rock legend Stephen Malkmus, guitarist Spiral Stairs (aka Scott Kannberg), bassist Mark Ibold, and one time drummer Gary Young (whose antics would inspire Pavement’s third album title, Wowee Zowee), Slanted’s success proved that lo-fi could step beyond its pre-conceived boundaries, that punk didn’t need to be derivative, and that one could be both cerebral and nonsensical at once. By not adhering to the dominant grunge scene that Nirvana accidentally up heaved, Pavement gave voice and shape to a generation of individuals who felt like they deserved more choices than their parent’s classic rock LPs or sharing the grunge sound with the jean jacket wearing meatheads.

Slanted & Enchanted was a punk geek’s dream. It’s piercing guitars and tight-as-hell rhythm section conjure an incredibly powerful platform for Stephen Malkmus to go vocally and lyrically bananas. The lyrics are catchy and singable, unforgettable from first listen, and the rhythms are jump in the air and bang your head danceable. Although the album is predominantly filled with charismatic bursts of energy, there’s some down time as well. “Zurich is Stained” and “Here,” are the two more relaxed and [fortunately] stronger tracks on the album, proving that Pavement had complete control of their craft even in their first full length outing. That’s the reason why Slanted & Enchanted isn’t a throwaway record, because the band never had more fun nor sounded as energetic without sacrificing density and purpose.

The band will later refine their sound, Stephen Malkmus will become more hilarious, and they’ll diversify, but while succeeding efforts are more ambitious, there’s not one album besides Slanted that the fans agree on Pavement having gotten everything right. Slanted & Enchanted provides a worthwhile and sometimes life changing listening experience for fans of jangle heavy music and those who want to be fans jangle heavy music. Pavement will never sound this unlidded ever again.


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