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Addition by Subtraction

Being a stereotypical music snob, I don’t buy music that I think I will enjoy; I buy stuff that I think has the most indie cred. The Minutemen’s Double Nickels on the Dime, which often gets listed alongside The Smiths’ first album, as a classic of 80s indie rock, sounded like it fitted the bill. So, I thought I’d buy it and share my thoughts on it with you, dear reader. There’s only one problem: I’ve never been able to listen to it all the way through. It’s not that the music’s bad, it’s just that there’s too much of it. The album clocks in at over 73 minutes, which is long even for one that was originally a double-LP. I’m not against long albums, but the major problem here is that it’s 43 really short songs!

The Minutemen’s music is basically somewhere between indie rock, punk, jazz and beat poetry. It’s gimmicky, and not a gimmick that I think is clever enough to sustain a double album. Around song 12, I find myself drifting off, and I’m only roused from my aural slumber at track 19, “Corona”, as that was used as the theme tune to Jackass. After that, I mentally tune out again, before I finally turn it off completely.

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