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Music Review

Iggy and The Stooges: 'Ready To Die' - Album review

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Released on Monday, Apr 29 2013

Iggy and The Stooges - Ready To Die
Only two things will survive a nuclear holocaust: cockroaches and Iggy Pop. You just can't keep a good Stooge down. Having rewritten the rock blueprint thrice in the 1970s, he flopped about in the '80s and '90s before reuniting his old band for some incredible live shows and middling album The Weirdness back in 2007.

Before The Stooges could build on that though, bassist/guitarist Ron Asheton sadly passed away. Crisitunity! As James Williamson - in exile as an engineering graduate and Sony veep - returned and the band tore us a new one by playing Raw Power, Kill City and other disgusting filth live.

So why chance another album? "A real f**king group, when they're an older group they also make f**king records," Iggy explains. "They don't just go and twiddle around on stage to make a bunch of f**king money." "YOU GO GIRL!" we screamed back, and for all its flaws, Ready To Die is worth the entry price for the opening song and title track alone.

Sounding like something found down the sofa from the Raw Power sessions, 'Burn' opens with Williamson's rifferific intro, crashing drums and Mike 'Minutemen' Watt filling in ably for the late Ron. To be played at MAXIMUM VOLUME. The crunchy 'Ready To Die' more than matches it, James properly shredding it under Pop's best vocals of the album, squalling: "I'm shooting for the sky/ 'cos I'm ready to DIE / DIE / DIE!"

Elsewhere it's dumb, dumb, DUMB. "I got a job / I got a job / I got a job / but it don't pay s**t," goes the sub-Ramones 'Job'. Particularly thick is ode-to-boobs 'DDs', which finds Iggy getting all philosophical about... tits. "I'm on my knees for those DDs." "Not Jung or Freud/ These are my toys." "I'm so happy when I look at them / Though I'm happier when I'm touching them." Okaaaaay.

'Sex and Money' is a bit of a giggle and we do love a good Stooges brass honk, but to be honest we much prefer David Bowie's copycat job on his newbie. Elsewhere Iggy seems to wimp out a bit on the vocals, while the mix isn't nearly as in-the-red as it should be for a Stooges record.

And while 'Gun' is a good ol' time rock 'n' roll YOU ESS AYY stomp, the let's-take-this-doooown moments... Ooof. 'Unfriendly World', 'Beat That Guy' and the Johnny Cash-aping twang of 'The Departed' are a one-way-trip to snoozeville. The one thing you want a Stooges record to do is smack you in the nadgers, and Ready To Die lets itself down with one too many pulled punches. We can't wait to hear the best bits on stage though.



Tracks to download: 'Burn','Ready To Die', 'Gun'
If you like this, you'll like: Nirvana, Guns N' Roses, Beavis and Butt-Head

Listen to Iggy and The Stooges' Ready To Die in full via NPR below:

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