Joe Lally Nothing is Underrated

Joe Lally Nothing is Underrated
On his second album in a year, Fugazi’s Joe Lally comes off a hard touring schedule to create the measured Nothing is Underrated. On worldwide trips with the Melvins and Italy’s Zu, Lally welcomed guests to improvise over his commanding bass and focused vocals. The same methods are employed here but the results are not as dynamic as 2006’s There to Here. "Scavenger’s Garden,” featuring Rites of Spring members Eddie Janney and Guy Picciotto (Fugazi), is driven by exhilaratingly sloppy guitar textures submerging a tribal tom drum and bass rhythm. "Tonight at Ten” possesses an insistent hip-hop-inspired rhythmic groove and a haunting vocal by Lally. But the record is equally monotonous and, despite Lally’s dynamic talents, surprisingly flat at times. Spoken word exercises like "Motora” serve as dour pedagogy, while the sparse arrangement of "Pieces of String” exemplifies Lally’s struggle to propel mid-tempo ambient experiments into something engaging for listeners. Nothing is Underrated is certainly challenging but not in the manner expected of Joe Lally. (Dischord)