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The Residents - The Third Reich 'N' Roll CD (album) cover


The Residents



4.17 | 116 ratings

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Sheets of Blue
4 stars In 1974, The Residents, an avant-garde rock band from Louisiana, released their debut album, Meet the Residents, to little acclaim. Only forty copies were sold, with others being returned unopened in its first year. Only did it gain critical acclaim decades later.

Its follow-up, The Third Reich 'n Roll, released in 1976, used more of the experimental methods used on the band's debut, and with those methods, deconstructed and destroyed several songs of the 1960s. A parody of pop music and commercials of said time period, the album consists of two side-long epics, Swastikas on Parade, and Hitler Was a Vegetarian.

On both sides were the butchering of many classic songs of the 60s, as well as some obscure tracks such as Telstar and 96 Tears. This time around, the band garnered controversy for the cover art in which it depicted Dick Clark, a well-renowned entertainer, in a Nazi uniform holding a carrot while being surrounded by swastikas, pictures of a dancing Adolf Hitler in both male and female dress, as well as other forms of paraphernalia. This would lead to the German pressing being heavily censored with every Nazi reference being covered with the word "censored".

The Residents utilize their many instruments to thoroughly massacre the thirty songs integrated into both tracks on Third Reich. Like Meet the Residents, Third Reich 'n Roll didn't gather much attention, although the controversy surrounding the art helped the band gain some attention publicly, helping their album sales and nurturing a growing fan base.

The Third Reich 'n Roll gives the listener thirty-six minutes of noise, a destruction of the pop hits of the 1960s, putting their own odd and quirky spin on them, making them their own. It's horrifying to say the least, to the point where it works as a serious album. It works so well that anyone could listen to it, being one of their most accessible albums along with Duck Stab and Eskimo. The sound of the album may put one off at first, but given the time, one can grow to appreciate it as not only noise, but art as well.

Sheets of Blue | 4/5 |


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