MUSIC

 

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Hindsight 20/20

As the best music ages, its complexity increases, reaching towards an elusive,
near mystical peak, with bitterness yielding to a soft, mellow perfection. The
Arrogant Worms have been aged 20 years and on "Hindsight 20/20", we are treated to the finest of the Château des Worms. Worth it for the dance remix of "The Last Saskatchewan Pirate" alone. Old wine in new bottles? Yes please.

 
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Torpid (2008)

The boldness - nay, the sheer audacity of it: a band that should have by all rights have passed its genteel peak finds itself instead enjoying a new plateau of intoxicating maturity. This terroir yields an entirely new varietal. With the frank wonder of "My Boy", the searing insight of "Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah", and the haunting loss of "Punk Rocker", any listener will come away from this album just a little wiser. So get a plate of Edam and Gruyère and snuggle up next to Torpid for an enlightening experience.

 
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Beige (2006)

When we are truly fortunate, master musicians produce a vintage which brooks no compromise; one that refuses to lower itself to the audience's thematic and tonal lowest common denominators. Producing palatable opiates for the masses is no longer enough for such artists; the facile is eschewed in favour of a much richer, more satisfying flavour. Beige delights, by turns playful and pugnacious, confessional and accusatory. The aural palate's strictest attention is required, less one miss the delightfully subtle notes of "I.B.S.", the tawny truth of "Go To Sleep Little Leech", and the perplexing profusion of "Brian's Balls". "Ezra Eats"? Indeed.

 
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Toast (2004)

After many years, it's tempting to think that you understand a band's ground: its consistency, its fertility, and the fruit it can produce. Then, one year, you are struck by something new bursting forth from the same soil. Toast is a priceless profusion of phonic felicity - something altogether new indeed. While "I Pulled My Groin" may perplex, "I Am Not American" will satisfy and "Monkey Song" will altogether enthrall. A worthy album to mark the Worm's tenth release.

 
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Semi-Conducted (2003)

The great ones - the truly great ones - reach a point in their career when it is time for reinvention and renewal. Semi-Conducted marks that point with the sharpness of a newly carved baton. What it marks is a staggering, lusciously luring pas de deux between the Worms and a full symphony orchestra. The live fusion of musical flavours is fascinating: the honeysuckle of the horns, the pure peach of the percussion, and the sweet strawberry of the strings all blend wonderfully into an entirely fresh, entirely engrossing texture. An enchantingly long finish: aftereffects linger well after the player stops.

 
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Idiot Road (2001)

Ripe and pure with a secure, charming texture, Road is an excellent addition to the discography. The nose is classic; the taste lush. Unburdened by excessive aging, you will find yourself seduced by the silky, caressing strains of such tracks as "Boy Band," "Beaver," and the (perhaps) excessively revelatory "Baby Poo." The Worms put their personal stamp on this album, and the quality that comes with that stamp is self-evident.

 
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Dirt! (1999)

Dirt was excellent as a young album, but is aging into a sophisticated wonder. The album is stocked with a number of hits, including "Needs," "Celine," "Rocks," "Cow," "Log In," and even the inexplicably complex "Winnebago." This is the perfect selection for all occasions. Any excuse to throw it in the player is a good one.

 
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Christmas Turkey (1997)

Turkey takes a buzz saw to your palate. Shocking and tart, the innocence of Saint Nick and open-fired chestnuts is swept aside by a screeching assault of irony and farce. The perfect antidote to the humdrum holidays. Best served with dried fowl and hardened fruitcake.

 
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Live Bait (1997)

Fruity, bold, and sensual, Bait is a rainbow for the ear. An intoxicating element of the Arrogant Worms experience is the band's terrifically witty stage banter. Generous helpings of same are offered with poise and provocation. Some great new tunes, as well as bold reimaginings of the classics.

 
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C'est Cheese (1995)

Cheese greets the palate with a crisp taste but a subtle bouquet. What starts out as sunshine turns quickly to darkness as one digs further into this gem. Verily, Cheese is a journey, tunneling deep into the darkest regions of the Worms' souls. The aching cries of "Dangerous," the pitiful wail of "Horizon," and the grim worldview of "Birthday" - it's powerful stuff

 
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Russell's Shorts (1994)

Woody and mysterious, Shorts dispelled any notion that the Worms might be a one-hit wonder. This album is excellent with game, hearty stews, and rich, powerful cheeses. Delightful and delicate oddities like "William Shakespeare's in My Cat" and "Killer Robots from Venus" are complemented by crowd favourites that include "Carrot Juice is Murder," "Having Fun is Bad for You," and "Big Fat Road Manager."

 
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The Arrogant Worms (1992)

The Worms' eponymous debut album is best served at room temperature. Blessed with a bold, earthy bouquet, it has a flavour of individuality and elegance. Mildly anachronistic tunes such as "Crisis" (remember when Canadians actually went to the US to buy stuff cheap?) are subsumed in a bewitching wave of such full-bodied classics as "Pirate," "Pain," and "Bob."

 
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 Posted by at 10:21 am

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