Brains To Burn - St. Vitus Dance - Love Me Love My Dogma And Then Some
Label: Probe Plus - Probe 10CD • Format: CD Album, Reissue • Country: UK • Genre: Rock • Style: Indie Rock
Unlike also-rans with the same idea, Ian McCulloch's specter-of-Jim Morrison vocals are no mere pilferage; where Morrison would have ordered you on your knees, Mac does it himself, alternately writhing in resistance or slumped in resignation to the agonies of an entirely different decade. On CrocodilesWill Sergeant's scratchy, yet ringing, guitar and Pete De Freitas' unhurriedly relentless pounding drums set the sonic scene for McCulloch's sometimes ambivalently delivered existential crises.
The four songs on Shine So Hard come from the soundtrack to a half-hour film of a specially staged concert admittedly a logistic and musical disappointmentand mostly serves to preview the upcoming LP in lackluster fashion.
But in its own right, the gloom engulfing Heaven Up Here seems to have smothered the band's cogency, with McCulloch less a fist-shaker than a whiner. The old potency is still audible at times mainly on Side One but, like McCulloch, the guitars sound fragile, even brittle; overall, it's a dreamy, depressed and depressing effort.
Echo's third LP is far more enthralling, an invigorating collection of bizarre, challenging songs given surprising but fitting color by the addition of violinist Shankar's offbeat wailings.
Sweeping creations like "The Cutter" and "The Back of Love" are tremendously exciting; the rest of Porcupineif not as consistently memorable, captures the band's unique essence with grace and style. New-found efficiency dispatches past self-indulgent inaccessibility. The even-better Ocean Rain exchanges Shankar's unique contribution for more routine string accompaniment, but offers an amazing skein of great songwriting. The CD and cassette have four bonus tracks.
The Cutter cassette, which contains the title tune plus four live Peel session tracks, was also packaged in with initial UK quantities of Porcupine. InSergeant self-released Themes for Grinda noodly instrumental solo album originally created to accompany a film project that was never completed.
Inthe Balcony Dogs successor to the abortive Sex Gods, the band De Freitas formed with two members of the Bunnymen road crew during his sabbatical released Tripa surprisingly good record on No.2 In Es-Dur - Schubert*, Ingrid Haebler - Impromptus Op.90 Und Op.142 the drummer plays only Brains To Burn - St.
Vitus Dance - Love Me Love My Dogma And Then Some minor role. You Didnt Want Me - Mesh - In This Place Forever McCulloch left to go solo inthe singer's presumption about his band's lack of a future without him was not completely accurate. Mixing a sour cocktail of defiance, spite and stubbornness, the other three opted to keep the name and get themselves Brains To Burn - St.
Vitus Dance - Love Me Love My Dogma And Then Some new vocalist. Suspended between the familiar and the unreachable, and seemingly motivated mostly by bitterness towards McCulloch, the album offers imaginative performances of dull melodies and obvious second-person lyrics, all sprinkled with familiar musical moves. Burke comes closest to aping Mac on "Thick Skinned World.
Sergeant subsequently joined the rest of the music world in characterizing his Bunnymen postscript as "an embarrassment. Burke's prior band, St. Vitus Dance, not to be confused with a similarly named American group, was a charming Belfast sextet with good, simple songs and an abundance of shaggy personality.
Four years later, in one of those turnarounds that give mudslinging a bad name, McCulloch and Sergeant made up and formed a new quartet dubbed Electrafixion. The premature Zephyrhowever, made a poor calling card: four tracks of thickly textured and terribly recorded dance- rock. If this was a new beginning, the end of the story was pretty easy to reckon.
Another surprise twist in the saga: Burnedwhich cleans up and preserves two Zephyr tracks not, however, the one called "Burned"sorts Electrafixion out, finding a purpose by siphoning off the essence of Echo to fuel a charged-up '90s attack. While McCulloch sings in an unmannered, surprisingly vehement voice, the guitarist has a field day, throwing off layered washes of rock guitar energy: overlapping planes of rhythm, lead, distortion, effects and ostinatos.
With Pattinson back in the fold, plus a new drummer and keyboardist, Mac and Will then closed the circle, reclaiming the Echo mantle for Evergreen Le Jour DAprès - Daytona (20) - La Parenthese, an album that easily revives the Echo sound.
Sergeant's signature guitar work is all over the album; McCulloch is in fine fettle throughout. The opening track, "Don't Let It Get You Down," bears traces of the pop friendliness of the Brains To Burn - St.
Vitus Dance - Love Me Love My Dogma And Then Some eponymous album, but with a more burnished, rough-edge appeal.
The band's energy here sounds renewed, if somewhat muted: the exhaustion of "Forgiven" sounds as authentic and affecting as anything the band has done.
The generally reflective mood provides further evidence of McCulloch and Sergeant's elegant glide into middle age. While many of their peers have either gone silent or are living off nostalgia, the Bunnymen continue to explore their original inspiration, '60s rock, with originality and passion.
The French horn on "Get in the Car" provides plaintive support for McCulloch's weary vocals and Sergeant's restrained playing; it's like hearing Leonard Cohen's fatalism scored by Burt Bacharach. A similar mood pervades the entire album, the bittersweet blend of strings, horns and woodwinds with guitars and drums evoking the baroque pop beauty of the Left Banke.
A contemplative and inspiring album. McCulloch and Sergeant shift gears on Flowersreferring more overtly to the '60s with heavy organs and electric piano. Leaving behind the previous album's sobriety, Flowers goes Solitaire - The Bruce Baxter Orchestra & Guitar* - 50 Smash Hit Guitar Extravaganza more straight-ahead rockers with generally solid results.
On "Life Goes On" the invocation of the Byrds' chiming guitar sound provides an uplifting antidote to the eerie and less memorable title Dauntless - Thamash - Double D Town Podcast 16.
Put Your Hands Up In The Air - DJ Gort3k - Drop That Beat EP, California Flight Project - California Flight, Jongleur Des 4 Vents - Grandval - A Ciel Ouvert..., Penguins - Lyle Lovett - 6/18 Songs From The Album I Love Everybody, Non Troppo Vivo E Delicatemente - Casadesus*, Berg*, Eisler*, Carol Colburn - Works for Piano