Saturday the Fourteenth

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The final album released under William Reid's Lazycame identity conclusively proved, if nothing else, that his brother Jim at least had a sense of some sort of continuing band focus with his own project, Freeheat. In contrast, Lazycame reveled in woozy and diffuse work that sounded halfway between making noise for the heck of it and hooks and lyrics that emerged from the murk and then just as quickly disappeared, something Saturday the Fourteenth often delivered in excelsis. It's not that this line of sit-and-record-and-ramble approach can't be compelling, as performers like Syd Barrett, Skip Spence, early John Frusciante, and half of '80s New Zealand underground rock performers, among others, had long since demonstrated, but Reid's own efforts often bleed into each other as a combination of omnipresent vocal echo, speak-sing interjections, strumming, and bits of feedback. The secret anchor of so much Jesus and Mary Chain work -- rhythm, however crude or simple -- goes missing at many points, or at best is so buried and inscrutable that songs feel more like random wallows, like the appropriately titled "Mayhem" and the ten-minute "Dement." A song like "Last Days of Creation," a hardly veiled reference to the collapse of his former band's first and (at the time) last label, might well be intentionally cryptic as a result given the stop-start chaos surrounding that end. When Reid pulls it all together and actually finds a hook and sticks with it, as on songs like "You Don't Belong" and "Lo Fi Li," it's a refreshing feeling, essentially re-creating the feeling of so many Jesus and Mary Chain B-sides in their relaxed and often acoustic-led pace -- perhaps unsurprisingly, "Kissaround" was first written and recorded for Reid's debut solo EP while the band was a going concern. The secret winner may be "Fuck You Genius," thanks to a tense, quiet start and a sense of build throughout -- but it's a rare moment amid everything else.

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