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CD: Iggy and the Stooges - Ready to Die | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Iggy and the Stooges - Ready to Die

CD: Iggy and the Stooges - Ready to Die

Iconic pre-punks hit enough creative paydirt to offer up thrills

Iggy Pop: as always, ready to search and destroy

While it’s impossible to recreate the impact of their astounding first Sixties sally, it’s still a thrill when a new album appears bearing the name “Stooges”. Punk’s ragged-arsed Detroit progenitors first popped up again in 2007 with visceral live shows but a lacklustre album, The Weirdness. Since then original guitarist Ron Asheton has died and, in a strange mirror to history, James Williamson, guitarist on 1973's classic Raw Power, has returned to the fold (following a 30 year career in engineering management!)

For fans who dared to hope, it’s good rather than great news. This isn’t an unarguable pay-off by a grizzled old dog, such as 63-year-old Iggy’s peer Lemmy mustered on Motörhead’s last album, but Ready to Die does have treasurable moments of wearied rock-warrior pathos and a host of other kicks. “Burn” is chewy, riffy and trashy with doomed lyrics, a likeable opener, and there's plenty of tasty cretin-hop rebelliousness such as the bullish likes of “Gun” ("If I had a fucking gun/ I could shoot at everyone/ freakin’ out in the USA”) and “Job” ("I got a job but it don’t pay shit”). More interesting are two warped thug-funk messes, both featuring saxophone, the lumpen “Sex and Money” and the punk-Motown of “DD’s”, a goofy garage paean to big breasts.

Best of all, albeit incongruously, given this is pretty much the band that fired out the scorched earth classic “Search and Destroy”, are two slide guitar-tinted acoustic slowies. “Unfriendly World” casts a cynical eye around and sounds apiece with Lou Reed’s best late material, while “The Departed” more consciously looks elegiacally backward, even incorporating a gentle take on the cataclysmic central riff from “I Wanna Be Your Dog”. It's oddly touching. Such contemplative numbers are an area Iggy could fruitfully explore but, for this summer at least, let's watch that rubber body of his being defiantly flung about the world’s stages one more time.

Listen to Iggy and the Stooges play "Burn"

'Ready to Die' has treasurable moments of wearied rock-warrior pathos and a host of other kicks

rating

Editor Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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