Wednesday, January 2, 2008

REM goes ... metal?

Well not quiet...

But it does sound as though the Athens boys who once gave college radio a reason to live are promising to turn up the volume - this according to the band's manager, Bertis Downes.

"It's not like we're going to pretend these are ballads. These are rockers," Downs says in a recent interview with Uncut magazine.

Anybody remember "Monster?" That was the last time REM tried to crank things up. Though poorly received critically, that record was 100 times better than anything since ... ("Around the Sun"? Horrible.)

"Accelerate," which will be release in April, promises to recapture the band's early energy. This according to frontman Michael Stipe.

"I feel like there's a confidence in the material, and a communication between the three of us that hasn't been there for some time," he said. "We didn't talk to each other for a couple of records -- as friends or as bandmates. And we reached a point before this LP where we just sat down at a table and hashed it out."

Truth be told, they need to bring original drummer Bill Berry gave up fame and fortune for a farm on the outskirts of Athens.