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Christgau Consumer Guide

The Smiths

by Robert Christgau on February 11, 1985


THE SMITHS

“MEAT IS MURDER”

[Sire, 1985]



It makes a certain kind of sense to impose teen-macho aggression on your audience — for better or worse, macho teens are expected to make a thing of their unwonted hostility. These guys impose their post-adolescent sensitivity, thus inspiring the sneaking suspicion that they’re less sensitive than they come on — passive-aggressive, the pathology is called, and it begs for a belt in the chops. Only the guitar hook of “How Soon Is Now,” stuck on by their meddling US label, spoils the otherwise pristine fecklessness of this prize-winning UK LP. Remember what the Residents say: “Hitler was a vegetarian.” 

C+


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