Cornershop used to make protest music proper, with clanging guitars and punk-rock spirit, making them peers to Huggy Bear and Bikini Kill. These days, as Kathleen Hanna only wants to put the ram in the ramalamadingdong, so, too, have th'shop long closed shop on hanging their threads on punk haranguing, instead wishing only to make the dope
dope and the dope dope. In these days of these days, Ben & Tjinder, the remaining creative pair, are the smarmy, almost silly, pinky-eyed, record-collecting studio-heads getting their cross-cultural cross-musical grins on, stirring up a polyglot stew of steamy dubbed-out hip-hop and stoned-out not-disco disco and ragga-swaggering non-cosmic psychedelia, such broth both bitchy and bitching, politico-posturing lost in the stoner giggles of a brewed brouhaha concerned as much with comedy as bureaucracy. Having done dressed-up-in-the-dapper-disco-threads for their Clinton side project, the creative twain have brought some of that strut back to the Cornershop. The combo's fourth longplayer, and first since 1997's break-on-through-to-the-other-side When I Was Born for the 7th Time, even goes to the lengths of recreating the giddy Clinton number "People Power in the Disco Hour," the whole obviously under the influence of a pair of hands more than familiar with working things in the studio, resulting in innumerable electro flourishes, and then the album working with a sense of artifice that is rather the work of cats detached from the playing-the-songs-live process. Since they're avid record collectors, all this is of little surprise; nor is it surprising that the set works like a spun-up set of carefully collated cuts, sequenced with stuck-tape-over-the-tabs-in-the-corners mix-tape affection that makes the whole seem like a sticky-sentimented sentimental love letter to the boys' record collections, the impressive strewn-and-smooched quality of the resulting record affirming the quality of said record collections.