Friday, September 12, 2014

FDF Volume 3 Issue 351 - Soul Asylum - Grave Dancers Union


Album – Grave Dancers Union
Artist – Soul Asylum
Key Players - Daniel Murphy – guitar, vocals. Grant Young – drums. Karl Mueller – bass. Dave Pirner – vocals, guitar.
Produced By – Michael Beinhorn

Release Date – October 6, 1992

Overview – This is the sixth studio album from Minneapolis, Minnesota band “Soul Asylum”. Formed in 1981. Up to this point the band had recorded and toured with little fanfare but with the release of this record they'd sell 3+million copies, peak at #11 on the Billboard chart, and win a Grammy award. They'd play the inauguration party for Bill Clinton. They'd continue along nicely for a few years but album sales began to drop and the band was released from their major label (Columbia). The band would rotate a few members over the next few years, but in 2012 they did release new material.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) – Opening with what was the first single from the record
“Somebody To Shove” kicks off the 12 song 45 minute album in fine form. The wall of guitar grabs you and when Pirner begins to sing the Young and Mueller bottom rumbles forth. The layers of guitar on the chorus and the urgency in Pirners voice just continues to grow. A song you'll still hear often enough on radio. “Black Gold”, another big radio single for the band lulls you with some acoustic guitars but then kicks it up with the buzzy rock feel. Young is laid back as Murphy and Pirner intertwine the guitar lines. The mix of acoustic and electric is a nice touch and Pirner has some solid vocal chops with his range. The track that most folks would remember this band for would be the acoustic lead"Runaway Train" . Well known for a video that showed the images of missing children it was instrumental in many reunions with families. Pirner and Murphy seem to find a solid place to play off of and Young has a pretty solid bass line when you really listen to it. The first three songs off the record were released to radio as singles, and you probably hear them all these years later. The band gets a bit more rocking on “Keep It Up” with the low end rock riffs and driving beat. For the first time as well you hear some of the good harmonies and backing vocal work with Pirner and Murphy. They space out some, going more acoustic with “Homesick”. The song has a more spread out feel to it with the band taking its time both musically and lyrically. "Get On Out" finds the band it a bit more of that 'foot stompin' rock mode. It feels new for the band, on the record at least. It stands out and just gets that good rock and roll build and guitars and just a fevered tempo. Lots of fun to listen to, it should have had a hard end vs a fade, but its a solid tune. “New World” is another quieter acoustic guitar based track. This is a pretty track that shows that the band is more than a one trick pony. “April Fool” brings back more of the swooping bar room rock. The guitars bite and the cymbals crash with tense breaks before they open for the chorus. The big 80's feel on the build up to the chorus is another fun touch. A lost or buried track that is fun to hear after many years. Another big single for the band came in “Without a Trace”. Another one that is hard to see as “forgotten” I guess. Another good guitar battle is found on “Growing in to you”. Pirner is a bit more snarly on his vocals and the bass and drums have the urgency to really drive the track. The track “99 %” has a similar feel. There is more distortion on the vocals which gives it that Seattle sound to some extent of what was popular around this time, but the music is pretty solid. Closing out the record is “The Sun Maid” another quieter acoustic lead track.

Where are they now?  Mueller died of cancer in 2004. Murphy left the band in 2012 with the desire to lead a quieter life. Pirner, who is friendly with director Kevin Smith, scored “Chasing Amy” and contributed music to “Clerks” and “Clerks 2”. The bands most recent studio release cam out in 2012 was called “Delayed Reaction”

FDF Overall Take/Was it worth Dusting Off? - Listening in full some 20+ years later it holds up well and its easy to see/hear why it was a big hit for the band. They focused on what worked for them, solid instrumentation with catchy vocals. It is/was dirty feeling, but maybe not grungy as grunge, but that made it stand out all the more.

Links, find out more, follow em and buy!

Fan site -here




Disclaimer – I am just a music fan. Feel free to comment about something that may be written incorrectly about the band/members etc. I strive to have a fun and enjoyable site. This site used to post mp3s but ran in to many issues. The audio clips provided are usually from YouTube. No copy write infringement is intended. Please alert me if something should be pulled. Finally, support the artist featured, or your favorite artist by purchasing their music, seeing their shows if possible and saying hi. They need your support.

Friday, September 05, 2014

FDF Volume 3 Issue 350 - Garbage Garbage







Album - Garbage
Artist - Garbage
Key Players – Duke Erikson – guitars, keyboard, bass. Steve Marker – guitars, bass, samples, loops.
Shirley Manson – vocals, guitar. Butch Vig- drums, loops
Produced By - Garbage

Release Date – August 15, 1995

Overview - Formed in 1993 the Madison Wisconsin based band “Garbage”. Manson was coming out of the band “Angelfish” and the others worked in various levels of production and engineering (as well as bands). They'd release this, their debut that would become a worldwide hit. It sold well, but with regard to US Charts it peaked at #20, slowly getting there despite the singles doing well. The band would continue to write and tour. They are active again, but see the “where are they now” for updated information.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) - The twelve tracks clock in just over 50 minutes. Opening with
“Supervixen” you will be impressed with the production. When you have a few of them in the band you'll notice the focus. The full band opens up and when Manson begins to sing it is a bit hushed until they head to the chorus when Vig gets the drums going a bit more. Erikson has a pretty good section on the guitar and Manson exudes sex appeal as she purrs the lyrics. “Queer” was the third official single to be released from the record. The shimmering guitar line and smooth vocals pull the listener in. A bit more focus on the keyboards and loops here than the opener. The track swells to the chorus and the bass work is smooth and clean. It has a pretty smooth overall vibe and then Erikson and Vig get it pushed some, but Mansons vocals smooth it all out. The second single released from the record was “Only Happy When It Rains” and you'll hear this on the radio still fairly often. The track is a standout of a bit more of the rocking side of the band. The guitars and Manson are the focus on this track. Soak it in once more.  “As Heaven Is Wide” is more bass driven with Manson sliding in. There is a bit more keyboard interplay as well with Vig having a robotic drum tempo laid down. We are a bit more straight up rock as “Not My Idea” rolls out. The guitars are right in your face, but are tight and clean. The loops and keyboards give the song the electronic back beat and Vig does the fills. Marker and Erikson swap guitar lines. “A Stroke of Luck” is a track that is heavily focused on the keyboards. Again with the layers and the basic back beat Manson is hushed and slow to break out allowing the music to really fill any gaps. The first single released off the record was “Vow”. The guitars reverberate across the speakers and after a little from Manson the full band comes in. It has a big full rock feel to it, but there are stronger songs that could have, should have been the lead off single. Its strong and would serve as a fine example of what the band is about, so that must have been the reasoning. (Actually it was released as a single at the time because it was the first song that was fully produced) The fourth song released as a single (and second you probably still hear pretty regularly) is "Stupid Girl"
 It always gets me with the the same drum riff a “Train in Vain” by the Clash, but its a solid track that still stands up well. (Also the drums are sampled off “Orange Crush” from R.E.M). The attack is back on the track  “Dog New Tricks”. The buzz of the bass drives the track and Manson is off to the races. Once the chorus comes in the band really seems to come together in one joyous riff. The intro on “My Lover's Box” gives you the impression they are going to rock, and they do, but hold it to the chorus. The guitars get a work out on “Fix Me Now” which is a nice change. At times it feels a bit too slick so when the band goes “traditional rock” its refreshing. “Milk” closes out the record, which was the 5th and final single to come off the record. Manson is much more laid back and the keyboards are there to provide ambiance.

Where are they now? - The band has actually gone on hiatus a few times, actually disbanding once while recording of their fourth album. They'd reform and complete it, tour, but halt that to go on hiatus.
During down time the band had other projects from acting to production. Vig has produced many records including the upcoming release from the Foo Fighters. Their most recent studio album was released in 2012 called “Not Your Kind of People” but there are talks of a new album coming out in 2014.

FDF Overall Take/Was it worth Dusting Off? - This is a good snapshot of the mid 1990s. Its got the grunge elements that folks might have wanted at the time, but the clean and solid production give it a really solid “listen”. Combine the sultry Shirley Manson and you've got a winning combination. The band is back together so it will be interesting to see where they take it to next.

Links, find out more, follow em and buy!



Disclaimer – I am just a music fan. Feel free to comment about something that may be written incorrectly about the band/members etc. I strive to have a fun and enjoyable site. This site used to post mp3s but ran in to many issues. The audio clips provided are usually from YouTube. No copy write infringement is intended. Please alert me if something should be pulled. Finally, support the artist featured, or your favorite artist by purchasing their music, seeing their shows if possible and saying hi. They need your support.

Friday, August 29, 2014

FDF Volume 3 Issue 349 - Morphine - YES



Album - Yes
Artist - Morphine
Key Players – Billy Conway – drums. Dana Colley – baritone sax. Mark Sandman – 2 string slide bass, vocals.

Produced By – Marks Sandman and Paul Q. Kolderie

Release Date – March 25, 1995

Overview - This is the third studio album from the Boston band “Morphine”. Formed in 1989 the trio blended jazz and alternative rock. Using non conventional lead instruments the band carved out a niche. They were more successful over seas, but this album was their first to crack the Billboard top 200. The band would build a niche audience and actually become very popular outside the United States. The sudden passing of Mark Sandman halted the band in their tracks.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) – The albums 12 songs track out to just 37 minutes. Opening with
"Honey White"   the band sets that tone right away..a very unique sound with a baritone (in a rock band) being such a dominate instrument. Conway settles a great back beat and Sandman and Colley just rumble with the bass that finds a both swing and kick to it. Sandman doesn't have a ton of vocal range on the track, but his voice is perfect for the layers of bass being used. With just two strings on his bass Sandman has a pretty cool intro on “Scratch” and then Colley comes right up. The track is a bit more laid back than the opener, but the groove on the track is infectious. Colley gets a bit more of a showcase on the track and your toes will be tapping along with your head bobbing. He nails it. “Radar” has a bit more a dual layer with Sandman and Colley at the intro. Conway never really opens up huge, but holds that back beat. Sandman has another cool bass intro on “Whisper” and Conway eases back as does Colley who almost whispers his notes, but spreads out mid song with a soaring solo.  “Yes” is another departure for the band. They change it up on each track it seems. A bit more smooth, but still a funky rumble of a track while a track like “All Your Way” just grabs you with the bass line and baritone sax. It always grabs you, but the band will change from a hard punch to a smooth groove to grab your attention. “Super Sex” as the title would imply is a track with a bit more of a drive to it with swirling bass lines and quivering saxophone sections. “I Had My Chance” slows it down with Sandman having the lead and Conway in no rush. Colley then comes in and its enough to give you chills. The swell of it all is grand. “The Jury” intro sounds like something Tim Burton would use in one of his films. There is a spoken word intro but the bass guitar has a “watery” sound to it and Colley sounds busy, but its not overpowering. We get a rock-a-billy intro with "Sharks" . When Sandman is singing the band lays back, but once its their turn to play it all takes off. “Free Love” has much of the same feel as sharks, a bit plodding at times, but the band continues to alter their sound on each track. Wrapping up with “Gone For Good” the band takes a real departure. Mark plays an acoustic guitar and the vocals are very hushed, almost just a man and his guitar.

Where are they now? - On July 3, 1999 Sandman collapsed on stage while performing in Italy. He was pronounced dead of a heart attack and the band disbanded. Following Sandmans death Colley and Conway set up “Orchestra Morphine” a band set up to tour and celebrate Marks life, as well as raise funds for the Mark Sandman Music Education Fund”. Conway and Colley also worked with former Face to Face lead singer Laurie Sargent to form “Twinemen”. The two have also worked in management and production and got together again in 2009 as “Members of Morphine”. With new vocalist Jeremy Lyons the band changed their name to “Vapors of Morphine” and still preform live.

FDF Overall Take/Was it worth Dusting Off? - It is a fun and interesting listen. I will admit I don't know a ton about the band. Them being “in my backyard” I wish I saw them live as the tunings, instruments and just overall cool factor are just off the charts. There is a best of collection out now where new fans can dip in, but I am sure you'd be pleased with any of the releases.

Links, find out more, follow em and buy!

Facebook page (quiet since 2009)
There was a documentary made about Mark called “Cure for the Pain” you can read more about it


Disclaimer – I am just a music fan. Feel free to comment about something that may be written incorrectly about the band/members etc. I strive to have a fun and enjoyable site. This site used to post mp3s but ran in to many issues. The audio clips provided are usually from YouTube. No copy write infringement is intended. Please alert me if something should be pulled. Finally, support the artist featured, or your favorite artist by purchasing their music, seeing their shows if possible and saying hi. They need your support.

Friday, August 15, 2014

FDF Volume 3 Issue 348 - Clinic Internal Wrangler


Album – Internal Wrangler
Artist - Clinic
Key Players – Carl Turney – drums, percussion, piano, backing vocals. Jonathan Hartley – guitar, clarient, keyboards. Brian Campbell – bass, flute, backing vocals. Ade Blackburn – keyboard, melodica, lead vocals.

Produced By – Gareth Jones and Clinic

Release Date – May 1, 2000

Overview – The band had its earliest formation as far back as 1984 Hartley and Blackburn made demos and worked their way slowly up. By 1999 the band was singed to a label and released this record, its first full length studio album. The quirky keyboard sound is the bands trademark and the off tempos kept the music interesting to many. The garage rock feel was prominent and they'd continue to release a steady stream of records. This early one was a critical smash and audiences took notice.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) – This is a pretty short one. 14 tracks just over 30 minutes. Opens with “Voodoo Wop” a funky bass line and conga drums slowly build before fuzzy guitars buzz in and out and slight “ohhhhs” compliment the keyboards that build with it. The bands big trade mark is the sound of these quirky and funny, almost toy like instruements. After the build up it changes direction, mellows out to a swing drum/piano as it wraps up."The Return of Evil Bill"  opens with keyboards and then the odd tempo of the track unfolds. Blackburn begins to sing in sort of a haunting, unassuming style. The track has a build to it, but never really seems to break out. It is unlike many things you've heard before. Almost impossible to narrow down. The third longest track on the record comes in the title track, “Internal Wrangler”. Clocking in at a whopping 3:03. The track seems a bit out of focus but the swiringling keyboards are almost diorienting to the listener. There is a lot going on here and Turney gets over on the ride cymbal pushing things at his pace. “DJ Shangri-La” is a 52 seconds interlude type track. A mechanic metronome, some keyboards and basic drum line. A transition track leading to “The Second Line”. A bit more of an electric drum tempo with the bass and drums working in tandem. Again Blackburn is hushed but relies on the backing vocals for a hushed delivery. The tracks each stand on their own and the mix is interesting, in that bass might be heavy on one track, the next organ is heavier. The vocals never seem pushed up though. “C.Q.” is a loud and rowdy track. It almost sounds like a demo track with so much noise thrown at you. Its over in just over a minute which is the bands homage to punk rock one has to assume. Sticking with the 2 letter song titles we get"T.K." next. This is a track that is easy to get your feet tapping. A heavy focus on the drum line laid out with layered with those funky keyboards. Campbell continues to be impressive with the bass lines.  “Earth Angel” is a rare track in that it clocks over 3 minutes. Hartley seems to get his due here, with a simple and pretty guitar intro. Samples of crashing waves compliment Blackburn vocally who is really in no rush at all. Campbell finds his groove and the track is just a smooth ride. “Distortions” has the honor of being the longest track, at 4:01! Keyboards and a simple drum track are under Blackburn and again the band seems in no rush. This is the bands “ballad” track, we get the flute for the first time here. “Hippy Death Suite” is a big change from the prior track. Back to that garage punk rock feel. The track is instrumental and just builds in speed for its short duration. “2nd Foot Stomp” has the off tempo drums and keyboards and Blackburn is even more buried in the mix vocally.  "2/4"  might be one of the more unique intros with the frantic bass, guitar, drums, keyboards and vocals. Its not often you hear that crunchy keyboard, listen for yourself.... There is a four second 'track” before the final track “Goodnight Georgie” begins. A quieter album closer than one might (well me at least) might want or expect.

Where are they now? - The band is now 7 studio records deep and going strong. The band members today are the same as the debut. They continue to perform live as well.

FDF Overall Take/Was it worth Dusting Off? - There are some really cool moments on this record, and the band overall is fun to listen to. Its not like something you hear all that often.

Links, find out more, follow em and buy!




Disclaimer – I am just a music fan. Feel free to comment about something that may be written incorrectly about the band/members etc. I strive to have a fun and enjoyable site. This site used to post mp3s but ran in to many issues. The audio clips provided are usually from YouTube. No copy write infringement is intended. Please alert me if something should be pulled. Finally, support the artist featured, or your favorite artist by purchasing their music, seeing their shows if possible and saying hi. They need your support.

Friday, August 08, 2014

FDF Volume 3 Issue 347 - Catherine Wheel - Ferment


Album - Ferment
Artist – Catherine Wheel
Key Players – Neil Sims – Percussion. Dave Hawes – Bass. Rob Dickinson – Lead vocals, guitar. Brian Futter – guitar and vocals.

Produced By – Tim Friese-Green

Release Date – June 9, 1992

Overview - This is the first full length album from Greath Yarmouth, England alternative rock band “Catherine Wheel”. The band took their name from a firework, that took its name from a midevil torture device. The band would be active for ten years and have mild levels of commercial success. They'd release four additional full length studio albums and in 2000 went on hiatus, but the band has done nothing in the time since.

We had a look at "Chrome" many years ago. Have a look if you'd like.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) – Twelve tracks and 57 minutes the album opens with the big and full sounding “Texture”. Futter and Dickinson get after it on the guitar and Sims attacks the cymbals. After the intro the band cools down some and Dickinson puts his croon right up at you. He has a nice deep and full voice that ebbs and flows from quiet to loud and has a breathy feel at time. Its a soaring album opener. By the second verse/chorus you hear more of Hawes bass work and the guitarists duel it out towards the end as Sims just smashes his drum kit. At the start of "I Want to Touch You" the guitar has that slow build and the band seems locks and loaded to join in. Like the prior track we get a full band to come in as the verse gets underway. Dickinson is in fine form and the band seems focused on the swirl of the guitars while the bass and drum drive forward. Futter has two runs at longer guitar solos which is a change for the band. If you are familiar with the band at all you know “Black Metallic”. The bands epic track with its great build up and tempo changes. I was hesitant to put this track up as a reminder, but upon listening it just needs to be part of the write up. “Indigo is Blue” hits you with two guitars strumming the same notes for over 30 seconds until Sims hits the drums and the band changes gears. What you feel might have been a loud and quick eases back some. Hawes bass compliments a bit more of a calm Dickinson on vocals. Even for a slower feeling track Futter gets time to solo and its a gritty wash of guitar. “She's My Friend” has Dickinson and Futter on the wall of guitars again and by the time Dickinson sings it has this really full sound. His voice is strong and deep so it resonates well with what the band is doing around him. Sims keeps that steady pace and Hawes continues to hold the bottom down tight. “Shallow” is a straight up rocker with the machine gun drums while the title track “Ferment”is the polar opposite at the start. A singular guitar with Dickinson practically whispering the words. Its not until close to the three minute mark that the band erupts for a short burst before going back to the quiet, but that is short lived..another brick wall of sound. Its repeated a few times resulting in an extending big ending. “Flower to Hide” is a great side of the band, the big sound, the full vocals, but feels a bit “different” for some reason. Could be a bit more laid back style from Dickinson, but is a cool sounding track. One guitar is on point, the other swirling and distored as “Tumbledown” begins. Dickinson is calm again but Sims and Hawes don't seem to want to be too laid back so they burst, but settle back for the verses. “Bill and Ben” seems to have the same vibe as the prior track while “Salt” has that lone guitar at the start before the band comes in. More of “shoegaze” type track you hear the layer of vocals from the guys as the band plays on. You can almost feel the fog machines rolling as you listen. Closing out with a stand out track,"Balloon" they really leave on a high note. You can almost tell from the great guitar intro that works right along with the bass and drums. The band is just locked in. A stellar track.

Where are they now? - The band stayed intact for most of their duration. Hawes left the band before the release of the bands final studio record. This is a band that, in my opinion, would do well on a reunion tour. Package with another band from the period and they'd be golden. Dickinson has done a solo record and some songs here and there. Based of wikipedia he enjoys working on old cars. As always if you know of any further updates feel free to comment and I'll update for like minded and curious fans.

FDF Overall Take/Was it worth Dusting Off? - There are some stellar moments on this record. When this came out it felt big, fresh and exciting. It holds up very well. Easily one of their best records and should be the launching pad if you choose to go down this path...now..they just need to re-form..at least for a tour.

Links, find out more, follow em and buy!




Disclaimer – I am just a music fan. Feel free to comment about something that may be written incorrectly about the band/members etc. I strive to have a fun and enjoyable site. This site used to post mp3s but ran in to many issues. The audio clips provided are usually from YouTube. No copy write infringement is intended. Please alert me if something should be pulled. Finally, support the artist featured, or your favorite artist by purchasing their music, seeing their shows if possible and saying hi. They need your support.

Monday, August 04, 2014

The Call get a fitting tribute!




Very cool news for fans of "The Call"

Robert Levon Been of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club pays tribute to his late father's music with an unforgettable live performance leading his father, Michael Been's, legendary band The Call in the upcoming live album The Call Live Tribute With Robert Levon Been (available September 2nd, 2014 via Label Records/Lightyear/Caroline).

While The Call (Michael Been, Tom Ferrier, Jim Goodwin and Scott Musick) got their official start in Santa Cruz, CA in 1979, its roots as a band go back to Michael Been's childhood in Oklahoma City, where seeing Elvis Presley perform on television changed the course of his life. That early interest in musical performance inspired his career, from the very beginning performing at the age of seven on local radio and television programs, to his eventual move to Chicago at the age of 16, where he was drawn into the blues scene by Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy Williamson, and Junior Parker. Been eventually made his way to California, where he connected with drummer Scott Musick, as well as Tom Ferrier (guitar, vocals) and Jim Goodwin (keyboards, vocals) to form The Call.

Despite having their initial demos rejected by all the major labels, the band found themselves in demand by nearly every major producer in America. The Call's debut album was ultimately produced by Hugh Padgham (David Bowie, The Police) and the band were suddenly opening acts for major artists including Peter Gabriel and Simple Minds.

The Call were signed to Mercury, Elektra and MCA, and released seven critically acclaimed albums over the next eight years, featuring several iconic hit songs including "Let The Day Begin" and "I Still Believe (Great Design)." In 1997, after a seven year break, the band reformed to release the album Heaven & Back, before disbanding once more. Michael Been began serving as sound engineer for his son Robert Levon Been's band Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, but passed away from a heart attack while working backstage at the 2010 Pukkelpop festival in Belgium.

Now after twenty years, The Call reunited at legendary Los Angeles venue The Troubador and gave an incredible live performance with Robert Levon Been stepping into his father's role and joining Musick, Ferrier and Goodwin for the one-of-a-kind event. For Robert—who grew up going out on the road with The Call anytime he had a break from school—the performance offered the chance to honor his musical legacy and perform nearly a dozen and a half songs from the band’s esteemed catalog. And for original members Musick, Ferrier and Goodwin, the show allowed them the opportunity to honor their friend and their own musical legacy while revisiting a bond they thought was gone forever.

The Call Live Tribute With Robert Levon Been will be available as a DVD+CD Deluxe Set on September 2nd 2014 and will also be available on CD, 180 gram double vinyl, and digitally (with 5 extra bonus tracks).




https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8R6pEvOBwI

Friday, August 01, 2014

FDF Volume 3 Issue 346 - The Wonder Stuff - Hup



Album - Hup

Artist – The Wonder Stuff

Key Players – Martin Gilks – drums. James Taylor – organ. Martin Bell – fiddle, banjo. Rob Jones – bass. Malcolm Treece – guitar, vocals. Miles Hunt – lead vocals, guitar.

Produced By – Pat Collier

Release Date – October 3. 1989

Overview - This is the second album from the band. The band was formed in 1986 and originated out of Stourbridge, West Midlands, United Kingdom. The alt rock band blended acoustic guitars, banjo and fiddle for some rowdy fan sing along anthems. The band would have a revolving door of members but would continue to release records but break it off in 1994. In 1995 a Live album was released and the band would go off to solo projects. By 2000 the band had re-formed and a one off show became a series of sell out shows. The band continues to be largely Miles Hunt's project and their most recent studio album came out in 2012.

This is the second time The Wonder Stuff has gotten coverage on this blog, The first time was when we looked at “Construction for the Modern Idiot” back in 2007.  Read about it here if you like

FDF Comments (aka the songs) – Twelve tracks in just under 40 minutes is how this breaks down.
“30 Years In The Bathroom” opens with sound effects and a TV Broadcast that run for close to a minute before the band comes in. The guitars bass and drums slowly build as Hunt begins to sing. The song has a mid tempo feel with Hunt pushing things. Jones has a cool bass line and Treece and Hunt seem to play off one another on the guitar. Gilks has some conga rolls as Treece has a very brief solo and the song loops back and winds to a close. In an homage to the radio business and payola you get
“Radio Ass Kiss”. Gilks snare has a cool effect as he “rat-a-tats” the intro and the full band comes right on. A more uptempo track than the opener the chorus, as expected, is a great sing along. For the first time you hear more from Taylor and Bell as “Golden Green” gets underway. The country feeling track will have your toes tapping and Treece adds great support on guitar and vocally. “Let's Be Other People” is a track that I'd sum up as being the classic Wonder Stuff sound. Great guitars, an equally pushing bass line with simple, but tight drums. The build up to the chorus is where Wonder Stuff songs tend to shine, this is no exception. Treece goes after the wah wah pedal and is up to the task with Hunt vocally. A shining moment on the record comes in the track "Piece of Sky"  . Just have a listen and hear the harmonies and layer upon layer of instruments.   "Can't Shape Up"   is another track that stands out with the wall of guitar intro and heavy hits from Gilks. Buried a little in the mix are the swooping bass riffs from Jones as Treece locks in to a progression. Hunt seems to really push himself, but keep the range tight. Another stand out track.
 "Don't Let Me Down, Gently"  was released as a single to radio in the US and its rollicking beat makes complete sense it was chosen as a single. The bass and guitar play is solid and Gilks really gets a work out on the drums. We slow down some with the track “Cartoon Boyfriend”. For the first time you really hear Bell on the fiddle as it seems to be a key component to the track. When Hunt sings the verse the bass and acoustic guitars reign supreme and the vocal harmonies are strong. The punchy bass that comes with the keyboard intro on “Good Night Though” builds to a frantic full band eruption. The vocals are quick and sung with urgency as the track rolls.  “Unfaithful” has a country feel to it with the acoustic guitars and fiddle. The melody is nice and its a cool “other” side of what the band can do. Where one comes up with a title like “Them, Big Oak Trees” is a mystery, but it is one heck of a catchy track. The bass on this track is only second to the great vocal work with the band. The nice thing about the Wonder Stuff is its never really a full on showcase for one instrument. You get that whole “big” sound all the time. Closing out the record is“Room 410” another track that uses spoken samples as part of the intro on the song. The drums have a particular snap to them, even the tom toms, and the guitars are busy melding back and forth. A bit on the trippy side, but that is okay. The Wonder Stuff want to keep you interested, and guessing.

Where are they now? - The band broke up in 1994, but reformed in 2000 with Hunt being the lone member still from this period. The last studio record from the band was in 2012 called “Oh No It's..The Wonder Stuff”. Jones left the band in 1989 and moved to the United States. He passed away in 1993. Gilks passed away in 2006 as the result of a motorcycle accident. I don't have any information on Treece, Bell or Taylor, so please hit up the comments!



FDF Overall Take/Was it worth Dusting Off? - I spent a LOT of time with this record soon after it came out as my friends and I dove it to this record. It was played a great deal and the band I was in at the time would try to work up some of the tunes. For me personally it brings back some very fond memories. For the outsider, there are some very rocking tunes on here. Even some of the bands today like the Avett Brothers for example probably unknowingly dip in to the pool that the Wonder Stuff laid down with the heavy acoustic guitars, fiddle and organ. A best of collection for the new fan would have you excited for sure to go back to the individual releases.

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