Label: Asphalt Duchess/Bruit Blanc Release date: 30/08/10 Link Official Site Buy: Amazon Ok, so let me get this straight - I Love UFO are a French rock band who has been favourably given “saviour status” in print thanks to folks like NME and Rolling Stone? Oh man, this is almost shaming itself before the music. And when your album is called Dirty Animals, maybe it would be a good idea to remove the image of your sweaty bedraggled looking guitarist from your MySpace, unless you want to go for that whole “we’re in on the joke” vibe. Well, the music is pretty damn serious and the band is instead focusing on traditionally American rock standards here to craft their sound. So what to do when it all seems too overwrought as a result? Ok, they really want to ditch the French thing. The intro song/sonic experiment/18 second throwaway ‘The Persistence of Memory’ chooses to name itself after the English translation of a Spanish title and use all reversed guitars like some weird Godspeed transition – what a combo! And all before dumping into the Swans minus the intelligence mess ‘Die With the Snake,’ which seems hell-bent on having the most ‘80s hair metal chorus in the conceivable industrial world to offset the dissonant clang of the steely guitars and David Tibet-inspired yelps that make up the traditional verse. It’s worth noting now that the next four songs are all over 5’30”, with two of them reaching into prog lengths (9’02” and 7’33”). The issue here is that these songs seem long because the band is trying to seem like a serious creative force (via jamming in as many egregious “Hey, we’re musicians!” moments as possible) and not out of the necessity of the development of the lyric or music. ‘Ashtray’ is content to just wallow with guitar noodling and feedback fuckery for a full four minutes before ever dropping back into any moment of actual music. Sorry guys, you aren’t Sonic Youth or DNA or Glenn Branca or any no wave or experimental band who can get away with that. If this were a NNCK album I’d immediately call it a change in direction…but this is the bulk of the song we’re talking about. Funny how the next song, ‘Clear Darkness,’ carries the same issue of just going on too damn long (and ripping off Mogwai’s song structure). Or maybe the tom part that seems to steal Gram Parsons’ toms from the Pink Floyd song ‘Time’ (here on a song called ‘War’) jammed next to the kind of acid baked music expected from Can and Nirvana’s bastard child (again minus the intelligence here) irks me more than the length of these songs, although ‘War’ is a retardedly lengthy 7’33”, so maybe it is the length. It’s funny to rag on long songs, because the 6’16” ‘Strange Attractor” is one of the best songs on the disc, relying only on post-rock and musique concrete ideas and ditching the vocals. Hell, the music is rarely the main issue here. It’s those vocals, the ones that sound like a throat diseased Rob Halford crossed with a disaffected Michael Gira, then reconstituted in a broth of post-Beefheart yelling. The painfully obvious fact that the vocalist thinks he’s saying really important heavy shit is the downfall, because nobody can sound cool screaming like a crazy homeless man (like on the closer ‘Dead Ghost’) – well, unless they were actually channelling insane energy, which, clearly, is not the case here. Even with the Shellac type production, nothing sounds angry or violent enough to be taken seriously, instead sounding like musicians playing what they think angry music should sound like (something that distances it from Albini’s genuine anger). As a result, nothing here sounds serious – just like a hyperbole. You know, the real shame is I wanted to like this album – really I did. I gave it plenty of tries, in different places, moods, mindsets, and the like all to no avail. This, simply put, is not cutting it. Photobucket