Yet for all its abstract psychedelic trappings and sonic mysticism, the group still manages to brandish a metallic edge from time to time. "Tahitian Moon" constantly shifts from lazy tropicality to a brash, urban grind. And the swirling rage of "Dogs Rule the Night" plays like an angry answer to the Jane's Addiction classic "Pigs in Zen." Speaking of Jane's, "Freeway" is of note not only for guest Flea's burbling bass, some searing guitar bursts, and snappy drumming, but the participation of former Jane's guitarist Dave Navarro, who instills the track with his ethereal metallic glisten. Good God's Urge is enhanced trance rock, gleaming with intoxicating streams of lyrical crypticality -- a grand slice of well-sheened, hallucinatory bliss.
Porno for Pyros plays with Cornershop Tuesday, June 18, at the Fillmore, 1805 Geary, S.F.; call 346-6000.
-- Spence D.
The Kelley Deal 6000
Go to the Sugar Altar
When they were handing out media stereotypes, Kelley Deal went back for thirds. First, there's the druggie-fresh-outta-rehab role, a pop cliche right up there with one-hit wonders and divorce. Then there's the ever-handy Women in Rock category, leading to newspaper headlines incorporating phrases like "Estrogen Explosion," as the Examiner put it this week. And finally, there's the twin thing (she's the sister of Breeders leader Kim Deal). People regard wombmates as, at best, mysterious objects of scrutiny and, at worst, freaks of nature along the lines of kangaroos and meteor showers. On her debut solo effort, Go to the Sugar Altar, Deal doesn't exactly try to explode those burdensome expectations -- she's too low-key for that. She does, however, deliver one pleasant small surprise after another, enveloping the record in an amiable aura. This is especially remarkable given her less-than-crucial contribution to the Breeders. Who knew she had it in her?
Deal's sure sense of sound is probably the album's biggest delight. On "Dammit" her vocals dart back and forth between silky delicacy and a swerving fury, advising lovers to "wear each other's clothes." Really, the record comes down to a call for hedonism, offering the slow sex funk of "Sugar," the doobie daze of "Canyon," and girlie yells for someone called "Trixie Delicious." Deal's insistence on pleasure, on "dry humping on the grass," is pure summer. It could be the musical equivalent of a beach novel, but it was recorded in the Twin Cities by a true daughter of the Midwest, thereby making it more evocative of porches with comfortably ratty couches looking across burned-out lawns.