First off, a hearty and serious congratulations to everyone's favorite viper pit of indie rock snark/adulation, Pitchfork, which begins a long and deserved retrospective on the occasion of its 15th birthday. For any independent Web publication -- let alone a music review site set amid the intertwined economic death spiral of the music industry, journalism and criticism -- to last 15 years is a laudable feat. And it's managed to pivot from that into a major curator of video content and international music festivals while maintaining a critical imprimatur that can change a band's life overnight.
But, in the spirit of a good birthday ribbing for our competition, Pop & Hiss dug around the shoe boxes in the back of the site's closet and came back with a few review equivalents of baby pictures from Pitchfork's awkward years. God knows all writers have a few bricks in their portfolios, so take these as milestones for how far the site has come in its writing, judgment and awareness of its power.
Much of Pitchfork's early reputation came from the pen of the now-departed writer Brent DiCrescenzo, whose windy, blood-spattered meta-reviews barely addressed the music they ostensibly discussed, yet sometimes perfectly detonated a record in a way that a straight pan never could. Behold here a 1,700-word review of Tool's 2001 album "Lateralus" composed largely of a list of drummer Danny Carey's equipment.