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They Mean Us:The Ladies

Artist: The Ladies

Date Released: February 21, 2006

Label: Temporary Residence

Produced By:


  1. Black Caesar/Red Sonja
  2. Recycler 1a
  3. Vacation, Asphyxiz, Vacation
  4. Empathy on a Stick
  5. Recycler 1b
  6. Non-Threatening
  7. Black Metal in the Hour of Starbucks
  8. Nice Chaps, Buddy
  9. So Much for the Fourth Wall
  10. Recycler 2
  11. And Them
  12. Mandatory Psycho-Freakout


The always productive singer/songwriter/multi-instrumental Rob Crow (Pinback, Goblin Cock, Physics) and drummer extrordinaire Zach Hill (Hella, Team Sleep, Nervous Cop) team up to create the unconventional noise-pop-rock outfit, The Ladies. Two years in the making, They Mean Us is simply a well thought out fusion of Hill's Hella and Crow's Pinback, and the resulting music is as inticing as it sounds. Crow's soft-spoken and melodic voice lingers on top of his angular guitar riffs and Hill's unorthodox noise-oriented drum patterns. This style, while resembling patterns established by the like-minded Q and Not U and Les Savy Fav, really stands on its own and makes comparisons hard to come by. The album is broken into fleshed out songs and short noise excursions which again reflects the differences of the artists involved. While the noise-oriented ditties (2, 6, 8, 11) do add a welcomed dimension to the album, the pair really shines on the longer cuts where Crow is able to put his songwriting prowess to test. Black Caesar/Red Sonja kicks off the disc quickly establishing the style before succumbing to the 20-second noise interlude Recycler 1a. Vacation, Asphyxiz, Vacation is the first completely fleshed out song, though more instrumental than most of the longer tracks. Empathy on a Stick seems like a missed opportunity because while incredibly catchy, it fades out after only a minute and 10 seconds. The next section of songs, Non-Threatening, Nice Chaps, Buddy and So Much for the Fourth Wall, is the highlight of the album really showcasing the possibilities of their combined skills. The disc closes with an essential 12-minute opus aptly titled Mandatory Psycho-Freakout, and really shows the diversity the duo is able to accomplish. They Mean Us is very much a successful outing for both Hill and Crow and should please fans of both, no matter whether they have heard of the other collaborator or not. Hopefully this will not be the last we hear from The Ladies. Mpardaiolo

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