Elliott Sharp

In the Land of the Yahoos

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In the Land of the Yahoos was an early and largely unsuccessful attempt by Elliott Sharp to garner a small niche of the rock market that was released on indie label SST and consisted of short, riff-oriented songs with lyrical content (which is one of the record's more obvious shortcomings). The words tend to be socio-political in content, often presented via samplers, but with a shallowness and contemptuously sneering quality that makes them all but unlistenable, choosing as targets such "difficult" prey as fundamentalist preachers, the media, and consumerism ("Shopping Maul" -- get it?). There are also vocals on "Sink or Swim" by Elizabeth Fischer that sound as though produced by the abandoned love child of Ozzy Osbourne and Eartha Kitt. Scary. Sharp's capable of penning the catchy hook on occasion, but the controlled chaos of his previous albums only rarely surfaces (a nice explosion on "Free Society" and the closing "Ratnap" has its moments). An additional annoyance factor is the over-dependence on drum machines for the rhythms, producing vapid beats that had to have sounded hackneyed within weeks of the record's release. A very disappointing recording from an otherwise very creative musician, In the Land of the Yahoos may only have value for Sharp completists.

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