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No More Pain

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Album Review

Rudimentary Peni's continued existence may seem surprising to some, but like near contemporaries such as the Mekons or the Fall (or at least their legendary bandleader), it just goes to show that persistence is no bad thing in the right hands. With a thick, chunky guitar sound and a new crop of emotional, wry songs — some with near haiku-length lyrics, perfectly suiting the brisk blink-and-you'll-miss-it feeling of the music — No More Pain shows also that the quality of the legendary Southern Records hasn't dwindled either following the passing of production genius John Loder. Anchoring the album with two astonishing anthems — the build and build of "A Handful of Dust" and the stretched-out power of "Pachelbel's Canon in E," complete with a stellar guitar solo that makes the neo-Springsteens of the world look even weaker than usual — for the most part the band follows a solid but enjoyable formula. So the title track can almost be a slower version of "A Handful of Dust," say, while "The Death of the Author" and "Annihilation" aren't too far off from that either. Yet there's enough individual flair as well — the swaggering opening of "Grave Object" and the near Motörhead-level exultance of "Doodlebug Baby," to name two — that helps prevent sound-alike syndrome.

No More Pain, Rudimentary Peni
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