The Residents The Third Reich 'N Roll

Part of what makes the Residents alluring is their rather skewed sense of humour, a trait that’s somewhat overlooked when they’re dismissed as being an art band. That humour is on full display on this nicely done re-release in everything from the music to the packaging. The Third Reich ’N Roll, originally released in 1976, was conceived as homage to the rock music the Residents grew up with as filtered through the influences of Krautrock bands they’d discovered, such as Can and Faust. Thanks to the state of mainstream rock in the mid ’70s, the concept of the album changed to the Residents’ views on fascism, with Dick Clark as the new fuehrer leading the masses into blindly accepting rock’s sterility. A heady idea, considering the final recording consists of two long form piss-takes on everything from James Brown and Chubby Checker to the Beatles and the Stones all mashed together in a big stew of music and noise. The band would later skewer and explore popular music on The Commercial Album and The King and Eye, but neither release was as biting and ugly as this. This reissue features cleaned up audio, which brings out many of the subtleties that were buried under the muddy mastering of previous editions. To tie it all together, it’s packaged in a 32-page hardbound book full of photos from the time period and the story of the album’s composition and subsequent controversy surrounding its release. Regardless of its age, the album’s concept still holds true in this day with continued mass acceptance of mediocrity as trumpeted by the faceless likes of mainstream radio and music television. (Mute)