"With your mind on fire and raving the end, you open the gates and welcome the men."
One look at the cover of Jeffrey Lee Pierce's solo debut--in which he is seen standing casually, maybe even reflectively, in a sparsely populated desert-scape with a shotgun propped on his shoulder--and the subject matter of the songs comprising the album becomes undeniably evident: tales of self-destruction and murder. While anyone familiar with Pierce's incomparable work with his influential noir-punk band The Gun Club will know that these topics are nothing new for him, what is distinctive about Wildweed is the significantly more polished (perhaps too polished) sound of the album and its emphasis on alt-pop structures over his usual Blues-derived fare. Recorded in London, Wildweed is, among other things, a great place to hear some of Pierce's Television-inspired guitar work and some of his most accomplished songs. Wildweed begins with "Love and Desperation," a strange, almost Ska-like concoction, which features some great tongue-in-cheek vocals from Pierce and a guitar solo dripping with histrionics. This is followed by "Sex Killer," one of the poppier songs on the album, and though it suffers from over-produced eighties-style percussion, Pierce's grimy vocals ultimately take the song over. One of Wildweed's absolute gems is "Hey Juana," which features lyrics that mention Nick Cave and a catchy walking bass line that keeps the song moving at a torrid pace. While not as consistently great as the better Gun Club albums, Wildweed is, nevertheless, a worthy representation of Pierce's singular talents.
1. Love and Desperation (5:10)
2. Sex Killer (3:08)
3. Cleopatra Dreams On (3:30)
4. From Temptation to You (4:56)
5. Sensitivity (3:29)
6. Hey Juana (3:12)
7. Love Circus (5:25)
8. Wildweed (2:41)
9. The Midnight Promise/ Open the Door Osiris (7:33)
10. The Fertility Goddess/ Portrait of the Artist in Hell (3:56)
11. Chris and Maggie Meet Blind Willie McTell at a James Brown Concert (1:55)