ADOLESCENTS: LA VENDETTA... (2014)
1) Monolith At The Mountlake Terrace; 2) A Dish Best Served Cold; 3) Bulletproof; 4) Double Down; 5) Fukushima Lemon Twist; 6) The Last Laugh; 7) 30 Seconds To Malibu; 8) Silent Water; 9) Talking To Myself; 10) Formula 13; 11) Rinse Cycle; 12) Ricochet Heart; 13) Nothing Left To Say; 14) Sludge; 15) Sanctuary & The High Cost Of Misery; 16) Let It Go.
They're speeding up in their old age — only about a year's difference now between Presumed Insolent and its follow-up: sixteen more songs, all of which not only sound completely alike, but also sound completely like the previous thirteen songs. This means that everything from the previous review applies to this album as well, and we might just as well leave it at that, but crappy old blasted «reviewer's honor» demands at least one or two observations off the top of my head (if only to prove that I have actually listened to the record, which I did), so here we go:
— first, with a song like ʽFukushima Lemon Twistʼ they put themselves at serious risk of losing their Japanese audience (do they have a Japanese audience? actually, doesn't everybody have a Japanese audience?); the tune is ostensibly about the misuse and abuse of atomic power, but some sensitive souls with a poor understanding of Tony Cadena's pronunciation might take it the wrong way, and start nostalgizing about the days of Pearl Harbor;
— second, when they slow down the tempo for the first time on ʽSilent Waterʼ, it seriously helps: against the usual background, its unhurrying lead guitar growl and transition from verse to chorus are positively memorable and emotionally impressive. Just add better production that does not reduce the rhythm guitar to concrete fodder, and you get yourself a humble retro-classic;
— third, the same principle miraculously works on the album's second slow song, appropriately titled ʽSludgeʼ, where there is a really cool «guitar thunderbolt» thrown in during each chorus, and it makes me think the sacrilegious thought that, perhaps, the thing that most roughly prevents these late period Adolescents albums from being good is speed as such;
— fourth, it took me way more time to think of these three than this album deserves, so I am going to end this right here with a rigorous thumbs down, much as I respect the religious dedication of the band and even enjoy their overall sound as cool background muzak.