When The Going Gets Dark

Metascore
74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. Yeah, sometimes Quasi get a little too carried away with themselves and the album seems a bit directionless, but that's only when they move away from the grit and into the prettier, synth-based tunes.
  2. When the Going Gets Dark seems stuck in a rut precisely because it is an album about being stuck in a rut.
  3. The only real rub lies in the lyrics, which-- unusually for the sharp-minded Coomes-- veer between cringing and faintly ridiculous.
  4. Uncut
    40
    [The] results [are] worryingly like a jam session between Ben Folds and John Bonham. [Apr 2006, p.110]
  5. Q Magazine
    70
    Here it seems desperation has resulted in rockier, more rewarding work. [May 2006, p.130]
  6. Mojo
    70
    A worthy, determined salvo. [Jul 2006, p.102]
  7. New Musical Express (NME)
    60
    Although as tuneful as ever, tracks like 'Alice The Goon' and 'Peace And Love' reflect these tumultuous political times with a new and surprisingly vicious sonic edge that even they probably didn't think they could muster. [25 Mar 2006, p.37]
  8. Under The Radar
    60
    The live feel of the disc is evident in that several of the tunes tend to meander. [#13, p.88]
  9. There's much to appreciate on this latest offering from Quasi but the band is certainly uncompromising and you need to be into loud drum workouts, the odd bit of white noise and occasional dissonance to enjoy it fully.
  10. A soaring power surge of an album... moody and loud, but focused and inspirational.
  11. Spin
    91
    His grinding blues buitar/aggro piano and her Bonham-bashing coalesce in a sound as heavy as his soul. [Apr 2006, p.91]
  12. Alternative Press
    100
    Infectiously noisy. [May 2006, p.166]
  13. Paste Magazine
    70
    [Their] strangest album. [Apr/May 2006, p.119]
  14. With more focus on the adventurous composition and skilled playing of Coomes and Weiss, it would be hard for anyone, including myself, to dismiss this as anything other than impressive. Now, if they just hire a new lyricist for their next one.
  15. Ultimately, it's not likely that those who've yet to be Quasi fans will be converted by this album, but it would nonetheless be worth their while to give it a listen.
  16. Skipping from dizzying keyboards to bluesy guitar, this is one of Coomes's finest musical hours, capturing his muddled musings into tight and coherent disarray and focusing in on the dynamic between these two exceptionally talented divorcees.
  17. Magnet
    80
    Coomes' vividly imagined, bloodcurdling tales of anger and dreaming are so cleanly produced and layered... that you barely remember how lousy Quasi's other records sound in comparison. [#71, p.110]
  18. Blender
    80
    This album is a model of aging, raging indie idealism. [Apr 2006, p.118]
  19. But despite better production and the unbeatable chemistry of Coomes and Weiss, When the Going Gets Dark just doesn’t have as many memorable songs, nor does it spark the same kind of curious sympathy their best micro-miseries have.
  20. When the Going Gets Dark taps into a new kind of power for Quasi, giving them the opportunity and ambition to skronk and smash.
  21. It's not earthshaking, but it manages a small cocktail of politics, jazz, and well-produced indie-rock that you can refer to as "jams" without feeling embarrassed.
User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 6 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. BiffD
    Jun 12, 2006
    6
    Above Sword of God and below Hot Shit. As a longtime fan of this duo, I get a little frustrated with the uneven song quality on their discs. Above Sword of God and below Hot Shit. As a longtime fan of this duo, I get a little frustrated with the uneven song quality on their discs. "...Birds" is still their best and I'd seek out The Donner Party CD before this. Full Review »
  2. BenT
    May 5, 2006
    7
    i liked this record slightly better than the sword of god & hot shit, group seems to be getting more focused.
  3. MisterPleasant
    Mar 22, 2006
    9
    Pounding piano riffs and psychedelic guitar flourishes abound, along with Janet's always dead-on drumming. And the closer, Invisble Star Pounding piano riffs and psychedelic guitar flourishes abound, along with Janet's always dead-on drumming. And the closer, Invisble Star is a classic song! Full Review »