Record Reviews: May 1991

National Music Reviews

Pale Saints – Mrs. Dolphin


Even though the band suggest that, “Anyone with 18 pounds to spare, use it to go bargain bin hunting,” if you love Pale Saints you must pick up this Japanese compilation. Mrs. Dolphin includes their two EPs Barging Into The Presence Of God and Half Life, plus A Deeper Sleep For Steven and the previously unreleased Colours and Shapes from The Comforts of Madness sessions. Call me a fanatic, but there’s nothing better than this in the bargain bins.

Pale Saints have quickly become one of my favorite bands. Their use of innovative guitar sounds, both harsh and soft, are always refreshing and unique to themselves, and wholly unexpected by their listeners. Where many bands opt for more conventional guitar sounds or solos, Pale Saints are always pulling out surprises. Add to that the wistful melancholy of Ian Masters delicate vocals and you have the craft for the perfect ‘90s pop. Masters singing isn’t morose or self-indulging like so many Morrisseys, but more like heavy sighs at the end of long days. There is longing and wanting and desire, both fulfilled and unfulfilled, in each line he sings. At times his voice is strong, and at others it drifts off into nothingness.

From the first throbbing bass lines of “Sight of You” to the more ambient, eerily screeching “Colour of the Sky,” and its lullaby finish, Pale Saints prove that they can overcome any musical barriers or cliches and make songs laden with feeling and rich in emotion.

So get out your 18 pounds….


Hate X9 – Khristmas in Kuwait

R.U. Dead

It’s celebrant masturbation time as the careening terror of Hate X9 returns in psychotropic proportion! The long-awaited Khristmas in Kuwait EP is finally here in all it’s blistering glory, a session of complete brutality that makes Hussein’s war crimes pale in comparison.

Consisting of three songs, the new Hate is a progression of leaps and bounds. The transition from angry youth to outraged men is astonishing, as the newfound maturity of this nerve-shattering band expresses outrage at society’s apathetic attitude.

Perhaps the appeal of Hate X9 lies in their ability to communicate their frustrations so thoroughly. Beneath the anguish is their unyielding desire for peace between all peoples, and their conviction is as strong as that of the generation which inspired the social movements of the ‘60s and ‘70s. Uncle shame walks among us as the embodiment of our desire to coexist with a strong disdain for foolish patriotism. His desire is not for us to exist for a geographic territory, but for one another. The nobility of this could be misconstrued as altruism, and yet nothing could be closer to the truth. A close listen to “Someday” indeed represent this, much as “Your Song” from their previous EP did.

Of course not all is in defense of humans. “Monsterman” makes damn good air guitar material, with an incredibly solid riff and demanding melody that sticks stronger than any charting single. Musically, Hate X9 has managed to emerge from their sonic blast days without damaging their introspective composition style.

Admittedly, Hate X9 is limited in appeal, but with the ever increasing musical canvas, it will be hard for them not to endear themselves to the masses. Politically correct, inspirational, and above all, a great band on vinyl and in performances, Hate X9 is representative of what individuality should be about. 


Inside Out – Inside Out & Burn – Burn 


Face it, the best straight-edge records ever made were by Minor Threat. Anything after that is bullshit. I mean, could you really take a guy by the name of Ray Of Today seriously?

Well, almost a decade to the date, straight-edge is still strong and utterly directionless. Among the directionless madden are the bands on Revelation Records, a label where the fifteen various bands on their roster are actually the same five or six people.

Inside Out is a group of Southern California dudes whose seven-inch is basically a personal “fuck you” to Ray “Don’t Call Me Krishna” Cappo. “No Spiritual Surrender” is the big theme running throughout here, but the conviction therein is kind of lame, considering their guitarist ran off to join Shelter. Joke’s on you, guys.

Burn comprises what’s left of the NYHC scene into one band. Guys from Absolution, Bold, and Side By Side have come together to make a pretty cool EP that makes absolutely zero sense.  I’m not sure if that first song is about abortion or vegetarianism, (yeah, man, it’s that fucked), nor do I care. They have some conviction and don’t play that shitty InstedSoundgarden hybrid that’s interwoven into almost all the new hardcore bands. It doesn’t grab you by the balls like their predecessors do.

So, hey, my conclusion is to save your money for the next Iceburn show. At least those guys move around, and even though they probably hate all this sorta shit, they play it better than these guys do.


Limbomaniacs – Stinky Grooves 

I was at a gig where this was handed to me. It was pretty much one of these “Gee, if I run out of toilet paper” type of impressions I get when looking at the In-Effect bullshit. When a record label puts out stuff that says “Harder than you,” three things go through your mind: 1) The record company hosts daily circle jerks; 2) The record company’s male staff suffer from penis envy; 3) The bands suck, but their dicks are mighty big.

As in the case of the 24-7 Spyz, the Limbomaniacs are the fucking best. In a time where local yokels list the Red Hot Chili Peppers as their favorite funk/soul band, it completely kicks to see whitey get down like this. The earnest intentions of this group of fine musicians are prevalent in every song on their album. It’s like every great record made by George Clinton, Parliment, and hey, even Sly and the Family Stone: honest, straight forward, and downright nasty on the dope jam tip. Homey be playin’ this motherfucker all night!

Fools who enjoy the Wonder Bread approach of wanna-be funksters beware: the Limbomaniacs will lay the stinky grooves so think your nose hairs will ignite on first whiff. Those hardened to such funk will revel in extreme delight.


For more from the SLUG Archives:
New Band Spotlight: Nauvoo

Everyone In Panama Is So Busy Keeping Clean, Is There Any Time Left For Drag Racing?