23 Skidoo

Seven Songs

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AllMusic Review by

A more descriptive title would have been "Seven Panic Attacks," but even a bland title isn't able to prevent the undeniably savage, pungent impact of Seven Songs, a half-hour long album that plays out like a soundtrack to being bounty hunted in an expansive jungle. Following "Kundalini," a hectoring brain shake that hardly resembles the dormant energy it's named after, "Vegas el Bandito" enters and doesn't imply the James Brown of "Cold Sweat" so much as the panic of night sweats, churning out a taut groove of slap-happy bass, pattering drums, horn trills, and a scratchy-scratch guitar line that chases its tail. An echoing trumpet carries through the end of the song and drifts right on into "Mary's Operation," an anemic drone of even creepier horns and tape loops. "New Testament" is an industrial death lurch of rusted metallic sheets, giving way to "IY," a cluster of conga acrobatics with needling saxophones and frenetic chants thrown on top. "Porno Base," the real knockout, contains little more than a series of abysmal bass pluckings placed just far enough apart to induce chronic paranoia, sounding less like a smut-film score than "Welcome to the Terror Drone." The finale, "Quiet Pillage," despite its exotica reference, could only be played in the ruins of a lounge post-carpet bombing. This is post-punk at its most invigorating and terrifying.

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