Jah Wobble & Keith Levene 

Yin & Yang

"It's not a band, it's a company," sneered John Lydon (the former lead singer of the Sex Pistols) to TV talk-show host Tom Snyder in 1980. The band/company in question was Public Image Limited; its chief executives Lydon, Jah Wobble, Keith Levene, and a rotating cast of drummers. First Wobble resigned, then Levene, leaving Lydon the sole CEO in charge of haranguing the world. Wobble soon began a prolific solo career, and Levene faded from music due to personal problems. After many years apart, two of PiL's execs reunited to release Yin & Yang.

It mostly sounds as if these two never stopped playing together, and therein lies the problem. Much of Yin & Yang could be outtakes from PiL's landmark 1979 album Metal Box, known in the US as Second Edition — thick slabs of bass; jagged shards of dense, shimmering guitar; and lurching beats, swirling amid surreal, dub-influenced production. All well and good, to a point, but considering the many performers since who have taken that style to new heights (including Godflesh, Bill Laswell, and Mick Harris), Yin & Yang sounds as if Wobble and Levene are coasting on past glories. The vocal tracks are, frankly, a bit embarrassing. Wobble tunelessly rants: Opposites, opposites, they attract/hard and fast yet so abstract/like a bolt right out the blue/I'm a cunt and so are you. This vocal vinegar is acceptable from someone in his teens or early twenties, but from someone age 54 — come on. Yin & Yang does have its moments, such as the inspired quasi-Afrobeat jam "Fluid," but only those nostalgic for post-punk's peak would enjoy this album. (Cherry Red)


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Anonymous and pseudonymous comments will be removed.

Latest in CD Reviews

Author Archives

Most Popular Stories

Special Reports

The Beer Issue 2020

The Decade in Review

The events and trends that shaped the Teens.

Best of the East Bay


© 2020 Telegraph Media    All Rights Reserved
Powered by Foundation