on 30 March 2010
This has got to be the best album by this band. They split up a while ago, but this is their finest work.
I stumbled upon them quite by accident, when I found a CD of Ghost Stories in a second hand record shop years ago. Since then it's always been near the top of my play list.
When I saw this remastered version (with bonus tracks)I couldn't resist buying it. The extra tracks are a nice addition to what was already an excellent album.
Steve Wynn has been quite busy since his Dream Syndicate days and I've got a bit of his other stuff, which is good. But, for me, this is the one !
on 7 April 2014
Fantastic album - darkly biblical and literate music that was ahead or behind it's time. This album seems out of time - if it was released a few years later or couple decades earlier it would have got more recognition. Steve Wynn is an underrated lyricist, though his penchant for novellas-in-a-song is a little curtailed here, in favour of dark American gothic - Steve has mentioned he read a lot of Flannery O'Connor and it probably shows here as much as on any album with a dark strain of religion threading throughout most of the album. The apocalyptic end of the original release "See You When The Curtain Falls" predates a grunge stylistic favourite by a number of years - a foreboding slow semi-acoustic intro before exploding in full on guitar that is almost as end-of-world as the theme of the lyrics. Musically you get several sparse world weary ennui-filled ballads, lots of lovely Byrds-turned-up-to-11 jangly guitar and some nice spiky guitar that makes them far edgier than some other Paisley Underground bands (e.g. The Bangles). "Weathered and Torn is a full-on distorted 12 bar blues" and you get a nice and fitting cover of "See That My Grace Is Kept Clean too" (there's also a rarity, I think recorded around this time, of their cover of "Blind Willie McTell" on "I Shall Be Unreleased" which could easily have ended up on here). The original 10-trk album has hardly a filler track on it, although I am not so bothered about some of the bonus live tracks - though a bonus they are! It seems a little strange to follow the studio version "See You When..." straight after with the live version, although you do get a comparison that way (neither suffers much by comparison with the other). A cover of Eric Burdon/War's "Spill The wine" shows their eclectic taste to close off the bonuses. Well worth your time.