Artist: Isis/Melvins

Album: Isis/Melvins Split

Reviewer: Jess Harvell

Pitchfork, 2010

Writing Disorders: Infectious Punctuation, Idea Fever, Scorn Disease

Use a Thesaurus: “a bit of a dull”

Don’t Ask Don’t Tell: “I don’t mean that in a disparaging way at all”

HA: “climaxes are so restrained you can almost miss them,” “tight but heavy”

Jess, we both have our shortfalls. I write like a dick and you write like a bitch. Apples and oranges. Bands seem to like me though. Maybe because I don’t tee off like this:

It’s probably asking too much of two songs…Nonetheless, it’s a bit of a dull adieu.

Glad you went ahead and asked too much anyway, since the world could always use more people who ask too much.  By the way, what’s a real dull adieu?

Jess, this is the third time you’ve been heckled here, and it’s not just a lurid sexual fetish.  I haven’t muscled my way to your level of unpaid gigs, but I don’t think writing’s your strong suit.

(Admittedly with a few stylistic changeups along the way.)

What is that?  An advertising disclaimer?  Two questions are jostling to the fore here, Jess. Why the parentheses and why the period?  Am I supposed to imagine you whispering racy secrets about “stylistic changeups” in my ear? Good, because I am.

Tell you what — let’s put your last bit behind the one from the Sentence Protection Program so they can hump. I want to see why the catcher doesn’t want an independent clause in the chute:

Then Isis… kept going. (Admittedly with a few stylistic changeups along the way.)

Jess, there’s a reason no 50-foot spaghetti gun popped up in Doom.  Using something like that to kill an imp would be ridiculous, just like penning a whole new sentence in parentheses when a comma would have worked wonders.  (Readers, she did this again. She clamped the same curvy chastity belt on a 40-word sentence down the line. Read this quietly though, maybe in a Clive Owen voice. I don’t want her to hear.)

You know what I think your problem is, Harvell?  You write like you’re still in high school. Not just the emotalics and the crummy punctuation either. I’m talking English class on puberty. You know…why say a story includes something when you can say it’s PLAGUED by it?

The same problem plagues “Way Through Woven Branches” and “The Pliable Foe” here.

Two more Isis songs are wheeled into the ER…

Nurse: They keep coming in.  What’s wrong with these PEOPLE?

Doctor: I don’t know, Emma, I don’t KNOW.  But I suspect the music is too static to achieve any sort of real grandeur!

I hear the cure for the plague is recording something better. Oh, but that would take work and creativity. My bad.

I don’t want to be here all morning, Jess, so let’s take a quick look at those emotalics:

surprisingly nimble

didn’t plan

finally let loose


Am I supposed to shout that stuff in my head or are they breath markers to remind me not to pass out from boredom? Sure glad I gulped some air before I was told that I could “only hope they’ll explore it for a little longer.” Wasn’t a total loss though. Try reading “surprisingly nimble” without picturing the Melvins prancing like leprechauns. Hardee’s har har, $2.99.

Jess, let me know when senior year’s over.  I’ll clap you through graduation from times when girls pick on girls, and those girls pick on music.

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