Much of Real Emotional Trash, Stephen Malkmus' fourth solo lp (this one credited with the jicks, like his second, Pig Lib), is decidedly low-down and heavy. It could hardly be otherwise with monster drummer Janet Weiss (Sleater Kinney / Quasi) now a full-fledged jick. Meanwhile, Malkmus the guitar hero is on full display here. Dragonfly Pie, Baltimore, and the title track are alchemic combinations of intricate composition and unfettered jam. Malkmus' genius is that he knows exactly when to fetter. these songs may sprawl like the central valley, they may spread out like a jet's flame, but when they reach that last tract house they gracefully spread their wings and head for the unclaimed land beyond. Indeed, although Malkmus makes the pacific northwest his home, this feels like a 'california' album. Check out how Real Emotional Trash begins as a modern-day Tonight's the Night, before evolving into a road trip from the mexican border to marin, in the tradition of Pavement's Unfair. and dig those Allman Bros. leads.
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