After one spin through Elastica's scattered new album, The Menace, you needn't have been following the sordid details of Justine Frischmann's real-life soap opera to know that it's a document of a band decomposing. How bad off do you need to be to place three lame songs by your ex-guitarist on the record and then enlist the dangerously unhinged Mark E. Smith to help pull things together?
There are a few frenzied moments of trashy brilliance, but they seem purely accidental -- born of frantic desperation. The swagger of the past now comes off like confused anxiety. A novelty cover of Trio's Da Da Da is good for a closing larf, at least for Damon Albarn. TP