Bagged and Boarded CD - Absolutely Kosher

Bagged and Boarded is proof positive that Pinback's Rob Crow - dubbed Lord Phallus in the liner notes - plays too much Dungeons & Dragons and listens to way too much dirge metal. Looping his signature sinus-cold coo around a spool of cool, calculated chunk riffs, Crow's Cock is splotchy and ready for action, though few in the indie community are taking notice. The endlessly imitated post-Sabbath squalor of early Melvins is the most immediately apparent influence, but, ever the harmony merchant, Crow fleshes out the sinewy riffs with superlative high-register melodies. Perhaps a bit same-y from song to song, each track on Bagged and Boarded cinches its freshness seal tight, the production a tad too choked off for comfort, leaving the listener squirming for audio air. A few too many rink-a-dink sections also test patience like a DMV waiting line, coming off like slow motion Corrosion of Conformity B-sides or maybe Cathedral A-sides. Goblin Cock spurt out catchy choruses-a-plenty - one per song, give or take - and romper-stompers like "The Revenge of Snofalufagus," "Winky Dinky Donkey" and "The Green Machine" temper their gorgeous melodies with odd barks and subtly infectious instrumental breakdowns. Then again, when Crow neglects to hit the high notes, such as on "The Werewomb" and "Black Black," we're forced to sit through an entire song of mumbles, and I'm not talking about the rapper. A quality recording with plenty of problems, Bagged and Boarded swings the axe down hard but comes up short of a full beheading. O.J. Goblin Cock ain't (too soon?). (Grant Purdum)



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