Iggy & the Stooges

Ready to Die (Fat Possum)

Phases & Stages

Iggy & the Stooges

Ready to Die (Fat Possum)

This has to be the most severely misnamed album in history. After the misstep of 2007's The Weirdness, the 33-years-overdue fourth Stooges LP, Ready to Die, arrives definitely as the work of a band too alive for its curtain call. All it took was the return of Raw Power guitarist James Williamson, a production and songwriting genius in his own right, for punk rock's parents to find their studio footing for the first time since Iggy Pop reconvened the Detroit thugs who forged his legend. Ready to Die finds the quintet on Fat Possum, making them indie artists for the first time, and they give their new label the best produced, loudest, and slickest – without sacrificing any primal grit and drive – Stooges disc yet. Williamson lays atop the monstrous grooves of bassist Mike Watt and founding drummer Scott Asheton some of the most violent rock & roll riffs heard since ... well, Raw Power. He also brings a musicality unusual for the band: gentle acoustic pluckings ("Unfriendly World" and gorgeous Ron Asheton elegy "The Departed"), plus slide and lap steel guitar, and free jazz sax from Steve MacKay, now a fully integrated Stooge. Meanwhile, Pop contributes some of his most engaged lyrics. The single, "Burn," ignites an instant classic, and as with most of the tracks – "Sex and Money," "Gun," "Job" ("I've got a job and it don't pay shit") – he casts a jaundiced, journalistic eye on the American landscape and doesn't like what he sees. That's good. That's what Stooges songs are supposed to do. Middle fingers up!

****

READ MORE
More Iggy & the Stooges
Playback: Blood in the Water
Playback: Blood in the Water
Headliners avalanche SXSW a week out from the music fest

Kevin Curtin, March 8, 2013

ACL Live Shot: Iggy & the Stooges
Iggy & the Stooges
Zilker Park, Oct. 14

Adam Schragin, Oct. 19, 2012

More Music Reviews
SXSW Wednesday Record Reviews
Meat Wave
The Incessant (Record Review)

Bryan Rolli, March 17, 2017

SXSW Friday Record Reviews
Priests
Nothing Feels Natural (Record Review)

Libby Webster, March 17, 2017

More by Tim Stegall
SXSW Music Live: The Sandinistas
SXSW Music Live: The Sandinistas
Clash city rockers

March 18, 2017

SXSW Music Live: Spoon Nite 3
SXSW Music Live: Spoon Nite 3
Local heroes split the difference between the first two nights

March 17, 2017

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Iggy & the Stooges

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)