Thirteen Nightmares

  • Thirteen Nightmares
  • Shitride (Pravda) 1990 

While reviving the ethos of a ’60s new-left stereotype — white guilt, inchoate rage, the romance of poverty and misery — in its lyrics, this striking quartet from Lincoln, Nebraska slams three generations — the MC5, Cheap Trick and Soul Asylum — of Midwest rock into each other on the powerful Shitride. Great tunes, loose’n’lively hair-raising electric music and guitarist Greggory-David Cosgrove’s ripping vocals load the album with bracing energy and an extraordinary balance of rawness and subtlety. Except for occasionally insufferable lyrics (the title track is a whiny complaint about the rock’n’roll life that goes so far as to gripe about bartenders who withhold free drinks; “E.C” expresses solidarity for Eldridge Cleaver with the line “It’s a white man’s world for everybody but you and me” — yeah, right), this is an extremely cool record.

[Ira Robbins]