Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It


Why Bother? (Thrill Jockey)

Wednesday, Apr 18 2007
Adam Lee Miller and Nicola Kuperus are happily married, and reside in a tidy house in Detroit. Yet it seems unlikely theirs is a popular doorbell to ring on Halloween. As ADULT., the duo warns listeners it doesn't take a knife-wielding maniac to terrorize the neighborhood; folks who are "well behaved, with nice manners" ("Red Herring") are just as often predators as they are prey.

On its compelling fourth full-length, ADULT. takes the ill-ease of earlier albums like Anxiety Always to panphobic extremes. Hemmed in by piercing synthesizers and rickety-tick drum machines, Kuperus hiccups, howls, and shrieks her displeasure with pack mentality. "I Feel Worse When I'm With You" suggests Dorothy Parker defending herself against a sadistic aerobics instructor, while "I Should Care" rattles frantically like a motivational coach suffering a psychotic break. On "Herd Me," Kuperus repeats "they're mindless" with such terror the words implode into nonsensical syllables. Periodic instrumentals only offer a different kind of tension, a la the all-systems malfunction of "The Importance of Being Folk Part II."

Although sonically, ADULT. occasionally recalls the late-'70s electro-punk of Metal Urbain, its music feels less linear than three-chord rock. There is no obvious release here, just endless circling, like a wild beast chasing its own tail. Why Bother? is fundamentally a product of the suburbs, but these songs will never soundtrack a TV commercial — unless Target starts shilling cyanide capsules. — Kurt B. Reighley

About The Author

Kurt Reighley


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed
  1. Most Popular


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"