Is The New Lou Reed/Metallica Shit Or THE SHIT?

Why is it that most legendary artists who've completely run out of ideas can't just bring themselves to walk away, if for no other reason than to preserve what's left of their legacy?

That's a rhetorical question, of course, as it seems the idea of making an ill-conceived concept album together didn't set off any red flags in either the Lou Reed or Metallica camps.

While one is hard pressed to deny the greatness of such songs as "Walk On The Wild Side" and "Perfect Day", I've always been of the mindset that few have gotten farther on so little actual talent as Lou Reed. Let's face it, over the course of his 40+ year music career, I've yet to hear the guy carry a tune. Having said that, there's something to be said for being lucky and/or in the right place at the right time, as Reed was when he first stumbled into Warhol's circle of star fuckers and hangers on.

Warhol could have taken one look at Reed and his band, Velvet Underground, and banished them with the wave of a pale hand, but instead, he embraced them for reasons known only to him and thereby gave Lou Reed enough hipster cred to last him, well, 'til now.

When I first heard that Reed was cutting an album with Metallica, I, like you, thought it was a joke. When I found out that it was, in fact, for real, I became truly convinced that both Reed and Metallica were out of their mother-loving heads. Of course, both have reached the twilight of their careers and are now forced to rely upon schtick to garner interest from the media and music fans alike. Whereas Santana employs a revolving door of special guests and Rod Stewart continually digs up oldies for yet another installment in his geriatric "American Songbook" series, it is easy to see why Reed and Metallica chose to join forces. Both have nothing to lose and, well, the results can't be any worse than "St. Anger".

Or so we thought.

"Brandenburg Gate" begins with an amateurish acoustic guitar flourish that has "Lou" written all over it, fleshed out with some pretentious spoken wordisms before Metallica's ham-fisted thump totally crashes Lou's poetry slam. At that point, what we hear is more the work of the shitty garage band down the street that practices for years in their garage and never gets any better, not the work of two legendary rock acts.

Yet, like the car crash we can't tear our eyes away from, we find ourselves unable to hit the "OFF" switch, for fear of missing something truly monumental. Not "monumental good", mind you. This is some truly gruesome stuff.

For starters, somebody please give Lars Ulrich a fucking metronome. The guy's kick drum work is all over the place. The thing is, everything else is based off of that, so when the band cranks up the amps and tries to lay waste to our ear holes on "The View", they just sound tipsy and unbalanced. And, tell me I'm wrong, but Lou is starting to sound annoyed.

"Pumping Blood" begins with an orchestral swirl meant to indicate the presence, of class, high art. But all I can see is row upon row of used copies of "Lulu" plugging up the bins at the few remaining record stores left in existence. This isn't high art, it's music to price used copies of "Lulu" to, some hipper-than-thou music store clerk chuckling as they drop the price a little more each time.

By the time we reach "Mistress Dread", the boys are already starting to repeat themselves: orchestral interlude, tension adequately built, and enter Metallica with guns a-blazing. Lou isn't so much straining to be heard as straining to stay awake, mumbling in a manner completely detached from the racket Metallica are creating in the background. Heed my warning, if you listen to the entire song, that is six minutes and forty one seconds that you will never get back. Suddenly, flossing the cat doesn't seem like a bad way to kill an hour.

"Iced Honey" begins with Lou Reed counting to four and Metallica actually sounding like a decent rock band for all of ten seconds. By the one-minute mark, it suddenly dawns on you that Lou Reed's lyrics are really, really fucking awful and that what passes for a chorus is something even the shitty garage band down the street would roll their eyes at.

But damn if we can stop listening. After all, this isn't just a trainwreck, this is a hell-bound convoy of dump trucks careening through a nitroglycerin factory and each song is a mangled Rubik's cube of twisted metal and skin.

Of course, like the director of any good snuff flick, Reed and Metallica save the best for last, fully aware of the fact that delaying gratification as long as possible is the best way to - oh, I don't know - fuck with your audience's head? "Cheat On Me" is literally 11:26 of Lou Reed daring you to chuck this album out the fucking window.

Last we saw of Lou and Metallica, they had ricocheted off the Pucker St. sign about two miles back and were coasting on what's left of their supposed legend.


Superior St. Rehearsal Facility


  1. Halfway through second song of Lulu (as a Metallica fan) and this is fucking awful..

  2. Taken Lou's advice and thrown it out the window.. virtually as there was no way I ever going to buy this crap. Deleted.