Review: Iggy and The Stooges – Ready to Die
Published on May 5th, 2013 | Jonny Abrams
It’s good to hear Iggy’s sleazy croon fronting a gleefully cacophonous Stooges racket again, especially in the wake of his regrettable Après album of last year.
Obviously they’re not the bolt from the blue they must have been in 1969 but they’ve still got that wonky, menacing energy about them, making for yet more fine latter-day material in a year rich with the likes (David Bowie, Os Mutantes, even My Bloody Valentine unless they release another one in twenty years’ time).
“Sex & Money” is a total blast, a whacking great stomp with a cracking brass section to boot, while “Job” manages to rock serious donkey balls even in spite of Iggy’s eminently contestable declaration of “I got a job and it don’t pay shit / I got a job and I’m sick of it”.
“Gun” successfully manages to convey its message by virtue of sounding dumb: consider “If I had a fucking gun, I could shoot at everyone” and “Who ever killed the Indians / All we wanna do is win / Thinking out in the USA / Watch out for the Mexicans / Will be back to kick our cans / Thinking out in the USA. No need to muddy the waters with ‘clever’ imagery when you can channel the source lunacy so effectively.
“Unfriendly World” is a disarmingly tender song marked with chiming slide guitar and Iggy’s breathy delivery of “Hang on to your girl, ’cause this is an unfriendly world”. It’s absolutely exquisite, showing how affecting Iggy’s lower register can be when he’s not hamming it up ridiculously as on Après.
Unfortunately, this is followed by the unremarkable pair of the title track and the, er, ‘melons’ tribute “DD’s” (God, you’re no Freud / These are my toys / Think about them every night and day”). “Dirty Deal” picks things up a bit with its addled, sun-dazed rock, “Beat That Guy” also picking up the slack with some ace fuzzy soloing.
Ready to Die ends somewhat suitably with “The Departed”, a graceful combination of pedal steel, fingerpicked guitar, marching drums and a wibbly organ line. “In the light of day, everything’s a dirty deal” we are informed, perhaps as a subliminal message about
car insurance (Ed: let’s leave the puppet out of this). It’s lovely, and – artistically speaking – Ready to Die could not be more of a misnomer on this evidence. A fine addition to the Iggy and The Stooges ouevre, which is pretty remarkable all told.
Rocksucker says: Four Quails out of Five!
Ready to Die is out now on Fat Possum Records.
For more information, please visit the official Iggy and The Stooges website.