Sword of God

The Sword of God

by Quasi
     
 
Most people haven't heard of the Portland, Oregon-based duo Quasi -- made up of divorced couple Janet Weiss (also the super-powerful drummer of girl trio Sleater-Kinney) and Sam Coomes, who many might've seen as an Elliott Smith sideman -- but that doesn't mean the couple haven't had their brushes with

Overview

Most people haven't heard of the Portland, Oregon-based duo Quasi -- made up of divorced couple Janet Weiss (also the super-powerful drummer of girl trio Sleater-Kinney) and Sam Coomes, who many might've seen as an Elliott Smith sideman -- but that doesn't mean the couple haven't had their brushes with fame. In fact, they seem a little obsessed with industry sleazeballs and spoiled rock stars on The Sword of God, their fifth full-length release and their first for Touch and Go. One track, "Little Lord Fontleroy," could be an answer song to Elliott Smith's "Son of Sam" (just a guess!), and another is the not-so-subtly titled "Fuck Hollywood." Musically, Quasi are a stellar drums-keys-and-guitar rock-music force that churn out catchy riffs in their sleep (even if the ones here sound a tad like earlier Quasi songs), and Coomes's lyrics tend to be stingingly funny, if occasionally cynical. Luckily, Weiss's whimsical lead vocals on a couple of tracks, such as "Nothing, Nowhere," sweeten up the bitter taste. Fans will also want to check out the simultaneously released Early Recordings, a rather grungy collection that makes you realize how damn good these guys have gotten over the years.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Quasi, the duo comprised of Sleater-Kinney drummer Janet Weiss and Elliott Smith bassist Sam Coomes, returns after a lengthy absence with their fifth outing overall, and their Touch & Go debut. After such a lengthy break, Quasi reveal how much they've grown as a collective. Make no mistake, The Sword of God is as zany -- or more so -- than any of the band's previous efforts. Weiss has become a stomping drummer, a poignant, ironically comedic lyricist, and a smart-assed vocalist, and Coomes has become a smoking guitar player and a proficient if not deft keyboardist, with a penchant for wiseacre humor that picks out the detritus of pop culture and lampoons it to death, as on "Fuck Hollywood" or "Rock & Roll Can Never Die." That's not to say there isn't any "serious" music on The Sword of God, because the darkness-obsessed tracks are here too, such as "It's Raining," "From a Hole in the Ground," and the supremely melancholy "Introduction." There's even a cinematically atmospheric feel to many of the tunes, as sound effects are readily employed for nuance and texture. It's just that, even on the darker emotional landscapes, Quasi has this remarkable tendency to keep the music upbeat and swinging. The only outside appearance here is in the form of a saxophone solo on the album's final track by Stanley Zappa. Quasi is a rock band without a mission and, as such, they make music that is texturally fascinating and intellectually stimulating -- because of their (often crass) humor and their absolute knowledge of rock and pop clichés from the '60s to the present. This may not be their best offering, but it's a truly fine record that offers plenty in the way of satisfaction.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/21/2001
Label:
Touch & Go Records
UPC:
0036172092727
catalogNumber:
927

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