Screw Radio

I'm a Generation X

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This album is one of Greg Ginn's most confounding solo releases, since it's essentially a vehicle for his rubber-voiced sidekick (and likely alter ego) Poindexter Stewart (who also fronts an underground radio station of the same name). Ginn plays bass and guitar in typical self-sufficient fashion; any similarities to his other bands (Gone, October Faction) end there. The tracks are built around talk radio and TV soundbites, and Stewart's elementary yawps and yammers. There's little happening on the musical front, either. Ginn limits his contributions to basic background fodder. The tracks are mostly anonymous collages of dissonant lounge music, free jazz schmaltz, and lightweight funk. The drift is clear from titles like "I'm a Generation X," "Bureaucrats, Nazis, Law Enforcement," and "The Staffers of Rolling Stone," which Ginn predictably dislikes. Other tracks are inspired by the O.J. Simpson trial: "Fit Acquit" recycles defense attorney Johnnie Cochran's famed directive to the jury deciding his client's fate ("if it doesn't fit, you must acquit"). If the music lived up to the titles, you'd have a pretty interesting multimedia excursion; instead, the tracks randomly recycle the same soundbites to little meaningful effect. A lack of cohesion dogs the whole exercise, which should give Ginn enthusiasts pause. For someone who once commanded such an exacting reputation in the '80s underground, this affair's something of a letdown.

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