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Total Shutdown - Reflections

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Artist: Total Shutdown

Album: Reflections

Label: Thin the Herd

Review date: Apr. 23, 2002

Album cover has four men on it, faces scribbled out. The new self-hate? The new self-pity? The new dead irony? The nu-rock sound of the Bay Area? Also, a toilet and an office. Are these all self-portraits????? Who’s the toilet? Who’s cubicle 2?

Drummer Pete Nguyen knows from jazz not from terrorism. Discuss vis-à-vis 9/11 and Asian-Americanness in America w/r/t appropriation of African-American forms in America. Also, class. And the new masculinity.

Album on red vinyl (BLOOD RED??????? [examine blood later])…translucent (WHY NOT OPAQUE? [something to do with “Reflections”? but where’s the mirror? some fucking FREUD shit? Or Lacan?])…drawings on one-side (self-portraits? [Neo-DILBERTisms?])

Bassist/bass vocalist Nate Denver can cry like Cookie Monster and doesn’t play fake funk thank God. (Hip-hop is the new funk.)

What the fuck?!? I said Operation Shutdown!!! At least the guitarist has a mustache!!! Does the bassist have a yacht?!?—Derek Bell

Guitarist/clarinetist/keyboardist Paul Costuros refuses to pander to the heavy riffage riff-raff but I kinda wish he would. Angularity is overrated. (Free jazz is the new no-wave.)

nice tunes…good harmonies…lead singer needs a bullet in him…probably fucks japs…—Mark David Chapman

Vocalist/harmonica-ist/hornist Bob Linder brings language to failure point, meaning I can’t understand him, but “ba ba ba” breaks my bleeding heart. (Gibberish is the new emo poetry.)

Smooth jazz meets Rough Trade. Vegan meets meagan. Post-rock meets post-hardcore. sXe meets seXXXy. Man crossing road meets chicken walking into bar. Stridency meets brutality. Beatles meet ___ in a dark alley on a Tuesday night (the new Wednesday dusk) while drunk on cheap beer and high on life?????

Band names: Total Openup! Somewhat Brownout! Incomplete Shutdown! Gone Out of Business! Rolling Blackout! California Emo-gy Crisis! Nothing Nothing! Total Turnon!

Too-delicate touch on drums. Indelicate polyvocal counterpuntalism. Tweak-tweak-ouch.

Originary rock-into-pop contractionist known-into unknown expansionist versus rock-jazz-into sound expansionist vanguardism. Beatles is Beatles. Beatles is Total Shutdown. Total Shutdown is Total Shutdown. TOTAL PUT-ON. TOTAL MUSIC.

A better recording wouldn’t hurt. Calling GGGarth!

By Sam Frank

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