Robert Wm. Gomez's

9 by Public Image Ltd. (8/10)

Format: 
CD

9 is more or less a continuation of what Public Image Ltd. was doing on Happy? If anything, I think I like a few of these songs ("Disappointed" & "Happy" to be specific) a bit more than my favorites from the previous record. In the summer of 1989, while they were promoting this album, I saw P.I.L. perform in Chicago with New Order and Sugarcubes. Ah, the olden days. A few years after this record P.I.L. followed it up with a greatest hit compilation which included the horrible song "Don't Ask Me." That song was the bane of 120 Minutes.

Happy? by Public Image Ltd. (8/10)

Format: 
CD

This is the point in the Public Image Ltd. timeline where John Lydon decided either a) to completely forgo his punk rock roots and succumb to the temptations of pop radio, pushing his musical pallette into new and exciting places b) chorus pedals are really friggin' cool. The end result can be a mixed bag. There are a couple great songs like "Seattle" and "The Body," but there are also a few not-so-great ones. Granted, there's nothing as bad as, say, A Flock of Seagulls' pop aspirations on Dreams Come True, but, then again, can anything truly be worse than that?

A Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Martin (9/10)

I was late to the whole A Game of Thrones thang (but, for the record, I was like totally in to this waaayy before the TV series), so I didn't have to wait nearly as long between books as most nerds did. Was it worth the wait? I think so. This volume is definitely better than the Iron Islands-centric A Feast for Crows mostly because the plot focuses on Jon Snow and Daenerys, who I feel are the core of the entire A Song of Fire and Ice. Add to that a healthy, noseless dose of Tyrion and it's enough to keep me excited about this excellent series of books.

The Decent: Part 2 (5/10)

A completely unnecessary sequel that really has to defy all logic in order to get the cast members from the first film a little screen time. Lots of stupid new characters and not enough claustrophobia.

Compact Disc by Public Image Ltd. (10/10)

Format: 
CD

Sometime between The Flowers of Romance and this record P.I.L. imploded. P.I.L. had finally shedded the noise and experimentation and took a turn for the pop. I guess it's understandable if fans of the original line-up ditched the band at this point, but, despite its radio-friendly aspirations, this album seriously rocks. Sure the abondance of raging solos aligns this record the band's hair metal counterparts, but Lydon's vocal style and the overall arrangements keep the punk rock vibe alive.

The Flowers of Romance by Public Image Ltd. (10/10)

Format: 
CD

As if annoying music couldn't possibly get more annoying (and by annoying I mean awesome) P.I.L. followed up Metal Box (a.k.a. Second Edition) with The Flowers of Romance. While the former relied on ambiance and nearly-danceable bass grooves, this record is sparse and tribal. Tribal is my code word for "has lots of pounding drums." Martin Atkins's signature drumming on this record is legendary.

Second Edition by Public Image Ltd. (9/10)

Format: 
CD

I always liked P.I.L. much, much more than The Sex Pistols. I'll concede that most of this record is just self-indulgent noise making, but it works for me. I love the driving bass lines which, to me, are very reminiscent of dub reggae. The guitar is all over the place and noodley but, in the end, it just creates a nice layer of ambient noise over which Lydon can scream, chant and holler. This disc is the one to put on if you want to annoy your square neighbors... or any neighbor for that matter.

Sunshine on Leith by Proclaimers, The (2/10)

Format: 
CD

I think it's quite fitting that, in my CD shelf, this disc sits right night to its brother in crapdom, Primus. I'm not sure what possessed me to buy this. Aside from the ultra-catchy hit "500 Miles," this is a collection of boring Scottish tavern shanteys—the type of stuff white people looking to connect with the "old country" will pretend to like. Bleeech.

Sailing the Seas of Cheese by Primus (4/10)

Format: 
CD

Conceptually, Primus is a great band. Weird humorous lyrics, bizarre singing, complicated song structures and expert playing all around. In reality they are just boring to me. The guitar noodles around and the songs just go on forever. This is one of those records that has one memorable hit, "Jerry Was a Race Car Driver," but the rest of the tracks are nowhere near as good.