HardReviews 3
by Martin Popoff

IGGY POP & JAMES WILLIAMSON - Kill City
(Alive/Bomp!)

Very much a record between the cracks, arriving in '75, minutes after the end of the Stooges and two years before Iggy's first of 35 years of solo albums ('77's The Idiot), Kill City is even credited between the cracks - namely to Ig and one Stooge, James being the guitarist on '73's seminal Raw Power. And the album was a higher level indie, emerging on energetic punk upstart Bomp! to no effect on the marketplace. Musically the album is sorta like kicking a can down the alley, switching channels between New York Dolls, Johansen solo, Johnny Thunders, Springsteen, the BOC songs Allen Lanier gave a contact high... in other words, squalid, Stonesy but actually stitched together fairly professionally. One thing that wasn't so hot first time 'round was the thin, lifeless and treble-void production. That has been rectified with this remix, making up for the fact that there are no bonus tracks. The booklet's pretty classy, featuring lonely looking rare shots by James of the two unemployed, unemployable drifters, plus brief notes by same and then the solid, again squalid lyrics to the album. Rockiest are the rollicking title track and the dark, bluesy 'Johanna,' while 'Consolation Prizes' is heavy like a Ron Wood solo track. I dunno, always liked this album as a kid but never loved it, which is the apt response - it's solid, substantial, but disturbingly tired and self-defeating. Of course, therein lies its charm - Kill City might be more Stoogey in crumbly vibe than the too-loud-to-notice original three albums, and its casual yet efficient musicality makes it easy to endure, very much like its closest kin in the Stones book, Exile On Main Street.
Rating 7

FAANEFJELL - Trollmarsj
(Mayhem)

Trollmarsj is the debut album from this Norwegian folk metal trio, and its virtue lies in its ambition to combine standard folk elements, a soundtrack feel, the symphonic and speedy black metal, topped with a "warm" and high in the mix death growl. Additionally, Trollmarsj is a concept album about trolls, although who cares o'er here, 'cos it's all in (old) Norwegian/Danish. Lush, multi-instrumental arrangements set next to full-bodied but again warm metal movements helps make this easy on the ears as well, as Faanefjell use every black/folk melody in the book 9and at a myriad of velocities) in a valiant effort to hold interest. Interest tentatively held.
Rating 6.5

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