Friday, June 25, 2010

PJ Harvey: Dry (1992)

(As published in Rock & Roll Disc ... )

PJ Harvey
Indigo 162-555-001-2
Total disc time: 40:08 (no SPARS code)

Merit: ***½
Sound: ***½

It's tempting to dismiss Harvey as less than the sum of her influences, among whom she must surely count Patti Smith, Sinead O'Connor, and the Velvet Underground. Where else could a young woman have gone these days to learn the art of welding brutal, scraping guitars to lyrics obsessed with the violence of romance? Yet even on the songs in which she tries too hard and her rhythm section not enough, something's at work--a hook, an image--saving the music from (complete) pretense. And when she gets it just right ("Dress," "Sheela-Na-Gig," "Joe"), she may as well be the future of punk.

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