Review: Public Image Limited - Metal Box
For one brief shining moment last Thursday I thought I finally "got" PIL's Metal Box (available again in a metal box). I listened to it twice, and the second time the dub reggae/death disco mix found that tiny part of my brain where the medicated serial killer with the long attention span lived. I fantasized the slow torture of my enemies and danced a bit in a noncommittal fashion whilst checking myself out in the mirror. There was blood. Oh Yes.
This morning, back to nuthin'. "Memories", "Socialist" and "Chant" kept my ADD at bay but the rest dragged on with little direction or reason. I once worked stage security for PIL when they had Minor Threat and Wall Of Voodoo open for them at the University of Maryland around 1982. I thought their set would never end. Maybe it never did.
Jah Wobble's template for the dub bass line is fairly genius but once figured out it's just repeating itself. Keith Levene's guitar is neither new nor especially creative, but he seems to find ways to keep his hand in. Lydon doesn't sing like Rotten, which wouldn't work anyway.
I've always thought the long, slow tracks in this style appealed mostly to people prone to psychosis. Some of my friends lean this way so it's not a true putdown. I lightly assert it takes a "defective or lost contact with reality" to get into all 7:46 of "Poptones". Stay on your meds, kids, and think happy thoughts.