Record Reviews: May 1992
Southern California’s most politically correct (and probably most intelligent) hardcore act has come back swiftly from a terrific previous album to make their best effort to date.
Led by singer Greg Graffin (a college professor) and guitarist Mr. Brett, Bad Religion crafts hook-filled and (dare I say it?) melodic punk rock that is as challenging as it is thrash-worthy. Generator stands out, even among the band’s superb career, as master work.
While Brett’s title track crackles with anger, Graffin’s “Too Much To Ask” uses the southern rock jangle in a way that only the late, lamented Husker Du could manage.
But as good as the two openers are, they don’t hold a candle to “Atomic Garden” and “Only Entertainment,” both brilliant slices of adrenalin—and intelligentsia-charged punk rock.
Generator is aptly titled; if this can’t get a rise out of you and get you excited about hardcore again, you must be dead.
From the opening lines, “Don’t fall too deep/don’t try and sleep,” Pale Saints spill out their cautious and moody music ranging from harder-edged tunes to more ethereal, quiet pieces. Always surprising and never a band to be second guessed, Pale Saints take seemingly familiar pop/rock tunes and twist and subvert them until they are something more diverse and increasingly more beautiful.
In Ribbons features new versions of “Babymaker,” “Hair Shoes” and “Hunted” as well as nine new songs, each one brilliantly crafted and haunting in its own rite.
This album marks the first release of the new 4AD/Warner Brothers licensing deal for the US. Hopefully the time is right for America to discover the world of 4AD.
Lazer Guided Melodies
After three promising singles, Spiritualized finally stops their teasing and gives us a full-fledged first album. It was well worth the wait, too. Lazer Guided Melodies is twelve songs divided into four parts. The songs flow from one to another with few breaks, giving the record a continuity and clarity that many bands fail to even try and achieve on their albums.
The overall tone of this CD is moody, thoughtful and reflective. It could be mistaken for a quieter Spaceman 3 project, having sonic guitar noise at a subtle background level with almost monotonous rhythms and melody lines that turn over and over in your head as you listen. Percussion is light, almost invisible, but adding a depth to the record that supplements the noisy guitars and throbbing bass guitar. Over the top comes the mellow vocals of Jason and Kate Radley. Thrown into his musical hodge podge are a variety of instruments such as dulcimers, auto harp, flute, cello, violin, saxophones and trumpet.
Slated for release domestically toward the end of this year, Lazer Guided Melodies is a disc you should search out and add to your collection now. Innovative and inspiring, Spiritualized will undoubtedly convert you to their own religious experience.
Check out more from the SLUG Archives:
Record Reviews: April 1992
Record Reviews: March 1992
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