|COMMON GRACKLE - The Great Repression|
|REVIEWS - ALBUM Reviews|
|Written by Tessa Perkins|
|Wednesday, 14 December 2011 19:31|
Many of the songs on The Great Repression have been given a whole new life as more country or rock inspired tracks that sound just as good as their originals.
Artist: Common Grackle
Album: The Great Repression
Release Date: July 22, 2011
Band Members: Gregory "Pep-Pep" Pepper (vocals, rhythm guitar), Mike "Penis Fingers" Brooks (lead guitar, backup vocals), "Mad" Adam Zantinge (drums, backup vocals), Tyler "$40 T-bag" Belluz (upright bass, backup vocals)
Reviewed by Tessa Perkins
This album is a re-recording of 2010’s The Great Depression which presents the songs in a new way by changing their musical style and giving them new life. Eight of the twelve tracks on The Great Depression are re-recorded here, along with two new songs (“Missed the Train” and “Quonset Hut”). These songs have strong country and rock influences, in stark contrast to The Great Depression which has a focus on featured rap artists and electronic background beats.
The first song, “Missed the Train” is a catchy toe-tapping tune that sounds like something you would hear at a country bar as Pepper sings about missed opportunities. The version of “All the Pawns” on this record is slower tempo with more of a country feel and less electronic background beats. It has great lyrics about the banalities of working a nine-to-five job and always worrying about money: “I’m logging in and out / checking that bank account / last thing I have is clout / so why you wanna hang around with me?”
On this album, “Down with the Ship” is a slow brooding rock song, but on The Great Depression it’s also slow and contemplative, but with more of an electronic sound. I think both versions suit the content of the song well as Pepper sings “Told them all to take care but I don’t care a bit / warned them not to drink it as I’m taking a sip.” Similarly, “Please Stop” is originally a dreamily slow song with an electronic background, but on The Great Repression it has become more of a plaintive country ballad.
“Thank God it’s Monday,” which featured Kool Keith on the original version, sounds a bit strange as a pop/rock track and I think it lacks some of the conviction it had. On the other hand, “The Great Depression,” which featured Ceschi, sounds great here as an upbeat rock song and it’s just a great track with insightful lyrics such as “It’s just a great depression I’m going through / let’s all get down with the times.”
“Safe Word Play,” containing a liberating amount of f-words that make it really fun to sing along to, works really well as a rowdy country tune in its reincarnation. This version really emphasizes the anger and power of the word. The other new song on the record, “Quonset Hut” is a nice rock ballad about getting married in a Quonset hut.
Many of the songs on The Great Repression have been given a whole new life as more country or rock inspired tracks that sound just as good as their originals. With intelligent, provocative lyrics, these are great songs in either version. I think this album shows Pepper’s versatility as a musician, and while it is a bold move to remake your own music, I think it has been a really successful project.
1. Missed the Train
2. All the Pawns
3. Down with the Ship
4. Please Stop
5. Purgatory Rock & Roll
6. At The Grindcore Show
7. Thank God It's Monday
8. Safe Word Play
9. Quonset Hut
10. The Great Depression