1993 Mercury Records
I almost don’t know how to describe the music on this disc, which makes it a natural for the Sonic Abyss. You’ll find elements of Ministry-style industrial sounds, glam, metal, dance, hair-band melodicisms (I just HAD to use that word), blues, acoustic, grunge, Zappa and flat-out rock.
Strange that this disc didn’t find a wider audience given that it came out smack-dab in the middle of a time when alternative rock was struggling to find an identity and darn near anything unknown qualified as “alternative.” I saw them at the Varsity Theatre in Baton Rouge, LA on the tour for this album back in the 90’s. Can’t remember for the life of me who they opened for, but I remember them being very very good live and I was floored at how indifferent the crowd seemed to be.
So many elements within the music of the same band (much less on one CD) make this one hard to classify. It definitely rocks, kicking off with the industrial come metal sounds of Prepare Yourself! and going directly into the grunge meets glam jam of Segue.
The disc would sound like a band in search of an identity if the whole thing didn’t sound so dead-on deliberate. No, I think this was a band in love with music who saw no reason these influences couldn’t come together and live in harmony. The pulsing, funky and danceable Do You Need Some? then follows suit with heavy guitars and a tight dance groove to the fore. Some tasty wah guitar in there, too.
Mixed in with the electronicisms (yeah…I don’t even know if it’s a real word) of the aforementioned tunes is the totally-steeped-in-rock-but-still-futuristic sounding Daisy Chain, which on one hand sticks out but on the other hand totally fits. From there, we go right into perhaps my fave riff and song on this disc, I Am. Again, totally tight and totally deliberate, while 40 Days sounds like it must have been a blast to play live.
Violent Dream has one of coolest and most menacing keyboard sounds to cross these ear drums and was the song that originally drew me into this CD. Guitars are biting, heavy and tight and not even the Europe-cheesy keyboards (sorry…it makes me cringe a little) at the end of the choruses can ruin it. And finally, there’s It’s What I Want, which really defies description in its upbeat catchiness and (I believe deliberate) campiness. Super cool bass line on this one and Zappa-esque eclecticisms galore.
Don’t know what else to say except buy this sucker online, where you can find it for stupid-low prices. I paid full-price for mine back in 1993 and I ain’t complaining.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5