Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  And It Don't Stop
  Book Reports
  Is It Still Good to Ya?
  Going Into the City
  Consumer Guide: 90s
  Grown Up All Wrong
  Consumer Guide: 80s
  Consumer Guide: 70s
  Any Old Way You Choose It
  Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Xgau Sez
  And It Don't Stop
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Rolling Stone
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
Web Site:
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
CG Search:
Google Search:

The Cross of My Calling

Wordy Swedish quartet passes its second-language requirement like gangbusters

Dennis Lyxzn is a garage-punk veteran who aspires to the strident expressionism of emo's pop side without mustering the muscle of Fall Out Boy's Patrick Stump or Against Me!'s Tom Gabel. Compensating for the shortfall are emotions so brazenly prolix and political they make Gabel's angsty protests sound like an hour alone with his therapist. Mocking the "boredom of safety," name-checking anarchist celebs from the Anabaptists to Up Against the Wall Motherfucker, Lyxzn and his Rick Rubin--produced henchpeople foment random acts of revolution or sometimes just destruction--of their own egos in "Assassination of Myself," and of anything they please in "I Am the Dynamite." Generally, they're smart and musical enough to turn rhetorical gestures into convincing rock & roll. But when they subtitle the whole schmear "A Love Vision!" you wonder who they're trying to kid.

Blender, Feb. 2009