McLusky The Difference Between Me And You Is That I'm Not On Fire

For a band that showed so much promise on their sophomore release, McLusky screwed up big on The Difference. Even with its off-the-cuff, conversational lyrics and Flipper-esque bass lines McLusky’s third album comes up sounding flat and two dimensional. The deliberately intrusive, barking vocals aside, McLusky never manage to build a vibe or purpose on The Difference. The album feels scattered and flaccid; the overly-thought lyrics of some songs failing in the fact that singer Andrew Falkous has no idea what a melody is, and didn’t bother to make up for it by adopting a decent sense of timing. Steve Albini’s anti-production, which has proven before to either make or break a record, has in this case mangled what wasn’t much of an effort anyway. Instrumental parts that can’t possibly be meant to distort fall apart at random and Albini’s "tiny room” signature production style is of no benefit to McLusky as they’re just sonically too loose. The record is unbalanced from beginning to end and just doesn’t play to the band’s strengths. It’s difficult by the album’s closer, "Support Systems,” to tell whose fault the gross mismanagement of The Difference is; the band’s or Albini’s. The smart money is on Albini given he’s maligned more records than he’s improved but by the end of the record the point is moot: it’s a lousy record and there’s no helping that now. Best wishes to McLusky — hopefully they haven’t mortally crippled their careers. (Too Pure)