Makers
(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )
Howl , 6/10
All Night Riot , 6/10
Makers, 7/10
Hunger, 6/10
Psychopathia Sexualis, 6/10
Rock Star God , 6/10
Strangest Parade , 4/10
Stripped (2005), 4/10
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The Makers are heir to the glorious tradition of Northwestern garage-rock. Originally from Spokane (state of Washington), they inherited the wild, raw, noisy rock'n'roll of the Sonics. A deluge of singles, including Here Comes Trouble (Estrus, 1994), I Can't Stand It/ The Mantis/ Nobody Gonna Break My Soul (Estrus, 1994), I Just Might Crack/ Think About Your Man/ I'm Hurt (Estrus, 1994), and the mini-album Hip-Notic (Sympathy, 1994), with Shout On My Brothers, turned them into an attraction among the angry young kids of the Far West. Their rather vulgar manners and their energetic live set have few equals north of the Mummies.

Howl (Estrus, 1994) roars like Iguazu Falls with the manic frenzy of early Cramps and Ramones. Several tracks betray a more restrained attitude, although no less outrageous, in the tradition of the Rolling Stones (the best one could well be the ballad Let Him Try).

True to its title, All Night Riot (Estrus, 1995) is a breakneck sequence of party rockers. At the same time the band nods more than once to the Rolling Stones and the Faces. Michael Maker is a terrific and terrifying shouter.

They became famous beyond their base with Makers (Estrus, 1996), also known as the "fuck album" thanks to the nihilistic tracks that drove it to the top of alternative charts in slums throughout the country (Waste of Flesh, Please Kill Yourself). The sound is a feast of fuzz, treble and feedback at full throttle. Sung in an evil tone and played with minimal skills but maximum ferocity, Little Piece Of Action and Nothing In No Time help remind us what rock and roll is all about. Throughout the album one hears echoes of the classics of garage-rock, steadily broadcast from Angry Young Man to I'm Not A Social Kinda Guy, peaking with the Animals imitation of White Bread.

It would have been impossible to stand up to that fiery album, and Hunger (Estrus, 1997) didn't even try. The Makers show they have a brain in the tense Small Town Depression and the bluesy Live Or Die, songs that sound more tragic than angry, and only attempt to recreate the masterpiece's fire in Tear Apart and Mr Blood. The usual parade of Sixties-derived refrains and riffs (Razorblade, Sticky bears the stigmata of the Sex Pistols and the Clash.

Psychopathia Sexualis (Estrus, 1998) was de facto a concept album, where the band stretched beyond the one/two minute screamed and strummed rock and roll. If thematically it suffers from its childish leitmotiv, sonically it displays musical skills and even some control. Lover Lover is one of their catchiest moments, and throughout the album one hears hints of glam-rock, peaking with the sick melodrama of Psychotropic Supergirl. The sarcastic vignettes of Sharp Leather Walkin' Shoes, Sicko Sexual and Deliver Your Disease match the baseness (and frenzy) of their classics.

It is not surprising that the Makers' next step is a full-fledged concept album in the tradition of glam-rock, Rock Star God (Subpop, 2000). It is surprising that the music is so much more relaxed and thoughtful. I'm Concrete Wall is pretty much the only garage-rock explosion in the one-hour long album. The catchy boogie Star Power summarizes the theme and makes for a great ouverture, but it is a far cry from yesterday's youthful exuberance. The influence of the Who's Tommy and Quadrophenia is all over the place (Open Your Eyes, Give Me Back Yesterday, guitar staccatos and anthemic refrains) and drives the rest. Gone is the ferocious bite, gone are the killer riffs. The Makers now excel in feverish funky shuffles (When We Was Gods, Metro) and loud blues-rock (Sex Is Good Food, Looking For Supergirl) which make the Black Crowes pale in comparison. Ballads abound and too often slow down the album to a deadly seriousness. Best are Texture Of A Girl and This Is Death Row. More than a ballad is God's Playing Favorites, a gospel melodrama in the style of the Doors and Nick Cave which best display their refined musical skills. Hopefully, the Makers have not exausted their adrenalin, just taken a side street to more powerful music.

The single Tiger Of The Night (Subpop, 2001) is another garage-rock gem, but the new concept album, Strangest Parade (Sub Pop, 2002), is lame at best, mostly recycling cliche` from old Marc Bolan, Roxy Music and David Bowie albums (Calling Elvis, John and Jesus), while rarely attaining any true grandeur (the bombastic Addicted To Dying and the eerie Suicide Blues).

Stripped (Kill Rock Stars, 2005) revisited their old classics.

By the time of Everybody Rise (Kill Rock Stars, 2005), their act had become routine (Sex Is Evil the main addition to the canon).

(Translation by/ Tradotto da Marina Troiani)

I Makers sono figli delle gloriose tradizioni del Northwestern garage-rock. Originari di Spokane (stao di Washington), hanno ereditato il rock and roll selvaggio, crudo e dissonante dei Sonics. Un gran numero di singoli, inclusi Here Comes Trouble (Estrus, 1994), I Can't Stand It/ The Mantis/ Nobody Gonna Break My Soul (Estrus, 1994), I Just Might Crack/ Think About Your Man/ I'm Hurt (Estrus, 1994), e il mini-album Hip-Notic (Sympathy, 1994), con Shout On My Brothers, li hanno resi un mito per i giovani "arrabbiati" del Far West. I loro modi piuttosto volgari e le loro dinamiche performance live hanno solo un paio di eguali a nord di Mummies.

Howl (Estrus, 1994) ruggisce come Iguazu Falls sotto la frenesia dei primi Cramps e Ramones. Parecchi brani rivelano una attitudine un po' piu` limitata, per quanto non meno oltraggiosa, secondo la tradizione inaugurata dai Rolling Stones (il meglio potrebbe essere la ballata Let Him Try).

Coerentemente al suo titolo, All Night Riot (Estrus, 1995) e` una sequenza a rotta di collo di rock and roll da party. Al tempo stesso la band accenna piu` del solito ai Rolling Stones e ai Faces. Michael Maker e` un urlatore terrificante.

I Makers sono divenuti famosi oltre le proprie aspettative con Makers (Estrus, 1996), meglio noto come il "fuck album" a causa di quei pezzi nichilisti (Waste of Flesh, Please Kill Yourself) che lo hanno portato al top delle classifiche dei bassifondi di tutto il paese. Il sound e` un mix a tutto gas di fuzz, treble e feedback.

Non si poteva restistere a quel selvaggio album e Hunger (Estrus, 1997) non e` da meno. I Makers mostrano di avere una mente con Small Town Depression, e accennano solo timidamente a ricreare la potenza di suoni dell'esordio in Tear Apart e Fair Game.

Psychopathia Sexualis (Estrus, 1998) era di fatto un altro album concettuale. Sebbene tematicamente risenta del leitmotiv giovanile, dal punto di vista sonoro rivela competenze musicali e anche una certa padronanza. Lover Lover risponde ad uno dei loro periodi migliori, e Psychotropic Supergirl ci ripresenta l'epica alienazione dei Velvet Underground. Whiskey Dog Mind, Sicko Sexual, Deliver Your Disease rappresentano i loro classici principali.

Non ci deve meravigliare che il passo successivo dei Makers sia un album compiutamente concettuale, Rock Star God (Subpop, 2000). E` sorprendente che qui la musica sia cosi` distesa e riflessiva. Per l'intera durata dell'album (1 ora), l'unico pezzo che probabilmente richiama il garage-rock e` I'm Concrete Wall. Il vivace boogie Star Power rende l'idea del tema e si presta come gran ouverture, ma e` ben lontano dall'esuberanza giovanile del passato. L'influenza dei brani degli Who Tommy e Quadrophenia e` avvertibile ovunque (Open Your Eyes, Give Me Back Yesterday, con staccati di chitarra e inneggianti ritornelli) . Si e` perso quello stile aggressivo e selvaggio. Ora i Makers eccellono in arrangiamenti febbrilmente funky (When We Was Gods, Metro) e molto blues-rock (Sex Is Good Food, Looking For Supergirl) che ci portano a paragonarli in maniera ovvia ai Black Crowes. Troppo spesso l'album risulta mortalmente pesante per l'abbondare di ballate al suo interno. Le migliori comunque sono Texture Of A Girl e This Is Death Row. God's Playing Favorites, piu` che una ballata e` un gospel melodrammatico (sul genere dei Doors e di Nick Cave) che in ogni caso ci rivela le loro raffinate competenze musicali. Ci auguriamo che i Makers non abbiano esaurito tutta la loro adrenalina, ma che si siano temporaneamente avventurati lungo una "strada laterale" a quella della musica piu` potente.

(Translation by/ Tradotto da Nicola Mecca)

Il singolo Tiger Of The Night (Subpop, 2001) è un’altra gemma garage-rock, ma il nuovo concept album, Strangest Parade (Sub Pop, 2002), è quantomeno grezzo, e ricicla soprattutto cliché da vecchi album di Marc Bolan, Roxy Music e David Bowie (Calling Elvis, John and Jesus), raramente ottenendo un grande effetto (l’enfatica Addicted To Dying e la strana Suicide Blues).

Stripped (Kill Rock Stars, 2005) rivisita i loro vecchi classici.

Con Everybody Rise (Kill Rock Stars, 2005), il loro metodo diventa routine (Sex Is Evil è la migliore aggiunta al canone).

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