Handcream for a Generation

Once there was a time when I considered "Cornershop" to be one of the nearly-greats, that is a band on the forefront of the garage rock revival movement. That was the case after I had first heard their single moderate hit from this record - "Lessons learned from Rocky I to Rocky III". That song has the basic ingredients for a garage/arena rock classic - a crunchy riff, addictive vocal melody, non particularly sense making lyrics, and a cool drive. Were all songs on this record like this, "Handcream for a generation" would have been a great record to start a new year with.

However when you listen to any other given song on this record you`ll be bitterly dissapointed if you expect it to be any similar to "Lessons". You see, the thing is that Cornershop was not one of those garage rock bands that grew like mushrooms in the early 2000s. They were not the next "Kings of Leon" or "The Ark". In truth they were just a bunch of Indian guys (at least some of them were Indian) than enjoyed all sorts of music and that played anything from funk ("Heavy Soup") to reggae ("Motion the eleven"), from garage rock ("Lessons") to dance club music ("Music Plus 1"), from spoken word crap ("Sounds Super Recordings") to Indian-influenced crap ("Spectral mornings"). That would be no serious problem - stylistic diversity never harmed nobody, but there are two reasons for me not to like this record very much:
1) the more dance-oriented songs on this record I find particularly irritating - by no means am I one of the people who find "artists" like "Music Instructor" or "Tiesto" very good, so there`s no way for me to enjoy the horrendous "Slip the drummer one" and similar songs;
2) the more rock-oriented songs usually follow the same pattern and very rely on nearly identical memories. If you listen to "Staging The Plaguing Of The Raised Platform" or "Wogs Will Walk" there`s very little chance that you won`t notice that those are nearly identical songs to "Lessons learned from Rocky I to Rocky III", and that is not a sign of a very good record.
To be honest, I`d really love to love this record. The band is ethnically diverse, multicultural and open, and for political reasons I should like it. But I just can`t, because this is a very dull record.
2009-01-02
5.0
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