McLusky Do Dallas is a monumental leap from the somewhat uneven My Pain and Sadness Is More Sad and Painful Than Yours. Comparisons to the Pixies are still inevitable, but McLusky comes out of the closet as a group of extreme noise mongers here. Every bit as dynamic, thunderous, and accomplished as Relationship of Command, Come on Pilgrim, and Nevermind, the album is almost criminal in its continuous, joyous crunchy hooks and all-out sneer. If they were treading water a bit on their debut, they're now masters of sonic punch and, like the Pixies, they might just have producer Steve Albini to thank, as he mans the boards here with genius abandon. Every one of the album's 14 songs is a standout, and with only three of the songs going past the three-minute mark, the band makes its point, drives it home, and pulls out. It's a truly exhilarating listen across every one of its 34 smart, snarling, and loud minutes. The mad vocals of Andy Falkous make Black Francis look like a geeky school kid in comparison, as he rips into bizarre lyrical territory, screaming or whispering about being "naked from f*cking too much," torching restaurants, "cartoon monkeys," "going straight to hell," and having "crazy f*cking times, 'til our Visa card expired." Falkous acts like a mad maestro, conducting the maelstrom of fuzzy guitars that constantly swarm around his snide, sharp vocals. When he pauses midsong to announce "bring on the big guitars" or "my love is bigger than your love, sing it," he's onto something truly special and compelling. The band's sense of timing is stellar, and there's not a false note in sight, as each tempo change highlights a hook or an emotion to a T. "Gareth Brown Says" is a perfect example of McLusky's twisted charm, as Falkous sings, "All of your friends are c**ts, your mother is a ballpoint pen thief," and it immediately brings to mind Lydon's girl from Birmingham. The entire album captures the energy of Blur's "Song 2," only full of conviction, wit, and fury, and filters and rearranges it as if it's been performed by a mad hybrid of the Pixies, the Sex Pistols, Nirvana, the Jesus Lizard, and Joy Division. McLusky Do Dallas is a fascinating, addictive album that never grows old, never takes itself too seriously, and never grates despite its absolutely raging dynamics, and it's one of the best albums of 2002.
AllMusic Review by Tim DiGravina