Before you lay down good money for Instinct, go see His Igness in the flesh. In recent shows, he’s dropped the stylish art punk of Blah Blah Blah and regressed to good old Stooges nyah nyah nyah, twisting and bawling with genuine animal madness and chowing down on old bones like “I Wanna Be Your Dog” with renewed relish.
As good as Instinct is — it’s as close as the drug-free Eighties Iggy has come to revving up the vintage violence — it isn’t quite good enough. There’s too much bash and not enough slash in Bill Laswell’s kill-joy production; he turns the brass-knuckle guitar of ex-Sex Pistol Steve Jones into a standard heavy-metal roar. Iggy, if anything, is heavy mental — as shown by the frayed rhythms, sawtoothed distortion and lupine howling of Funhouse and Raw Power — and subterranean lovesick blues like “High on You” and “Tuff Baby” could use the extra crackle that they get onstage.
Still, it takes more than wrong-minded production to keep a good Ig down. “Easy Rider” rolls over you like a runaway train on a downhill track; “Cold Metal” is five-star teen angst; and “Squarehead” is classic Iggy fuck-you music. See the Pop live and get the real meal. Then get Instinct to go.