Beaster [VINYL] Import
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The album itself is short (six tracks including an instrumental). Its bookended by two beautifully sweet pieces of music which would lull you into a false sense of security. However, the four tracks in the middle are full of anger, heavy riffs and quite exhilarating music. Tilted is thrashy and is a full on thrill ride of a track. Judas Cradle (yes those religious references start here) slows down proceedings with a dirty, grungey almost dirge like quality that just screams at you. Then we go into the maelstrom. JC Auto - yes JC stands for that religious figure and yes its that blatant in its religious references. If you were in any doubt from the album cover of blood stained rope you won't be after hearing this. Its so cathartic a track that you can feel the demons being exorcised. It can only be followed by Feeling Better - a track of great melody and noise that is the redemption of the piece - except it really isn't if you listen to the lyrics. The remastering has enhanced it and I love the feel of this version. Its as raw as ever.
The accompanying liner notes are not quite as detailed as the Copper Blue ones but they do give some of the info behind this album. The DVD is an odd one however.Read more ›
Horror stories are still told about how, during the course of making this record, Bob Mould, Sugar's legendary front-man, incapacitated himself, actually not being able to speak. As Bob writes in the album's sleeve-notes, "I thought that this material was going to be a bit difficult for some people to comprehend ... now I'm not sure what to think, so it's time to let go of it".
So this record represents a release, a getting-it-out-there, such that everyone else can sort it out. For one thing, I'm glad I'm not Bob Mould. It really does sound like sheer hell in there. The Lord only knows which demons Bob was wrestling with, but it sounds like an act of demonic genocide more than a clean fight.
Take the smooth, shiny bits away from "Copper Blue" and you've got "Beaster". It is not, however, as frighteningly grotesque as the band prepared everyone for before its release, what with their references to an album so impossibly dark and frighteningly heavy that they couldn't bring themselves to listen to it.
The album takes off every so gently, with a wash of synth and acoustic guitar that brings to mind an air-balloon gently rising up into a clear blue sky, on the ethereal, cathedral choir-boy mantra of "Come Around" - only to knock your front teeth clean out with "Tilted". If you've ever seen the film of "Lawnmower Man", the Steven King novel, listening to "Tilted" on full volume is like having layers of your brain shaved off with that same lawnmower. "I only do these things to freak you out", screams Bob as he fires-up his lawnmower guitar for the most technically competent and ear-meltingly brilliant rock guitar solo ever to be committed to tape.Read more ›
It's an incredible collection of songs, from the loud yet beautiful almost-instrumental of "Come Around", through the thrash of "Tilted", the roar of "Judas Cradle" and the phenomenal "JC Auto", to the jauniter "Feeling Better" and the elegiac "Walking Away". Rockier than "Copper Blue" the quality never dips, and it is one of those rare albums that you feel the need to play again as soon as it finishes.
For the remaster the package is a little more slight than the "Copper Blue" set. Once again there are multiple disks, but this time you have the remastered album which sounds perfect, and a short second DVD featuring a few tracks from a live set at Finsbury Park. It isn't great and it is very short, so you can stick with the main album and not really miss out. As with "Copper Blue" there is an excellent booklet, once again featuring interviews with the members of the band and others, and it is a fascinating read.
All in all this is a fine companion to the "Copper Blue" remaster, and for me represents Sugar's finest hour.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Rolling through a turbulent period of Bob Mould's life, this starts off gently, rips your head off with glass covered hands, howls down your neck and then sings you a lullaby. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Powerslush
I can't add anything substantial to the subject particularly not on an intellectual level but I would say that next time your head is full of s*** and you can't make any sense of... Read morePublished on 9 Jan. 2014 by Spazmo
5 songs of religious angst and power with a final organ led ascent back into the light. This is the story of a man who lost his faith and regained it, set to the most power of... Read morePublished on 25 May 2010 by robotfish
I remember when i got the original vinyl version of Beaster on its initial release in 1993 getting home playing it and thinking "Blimey .....Bob sounds really ****** off. Read morePublished on 30 July 2009 by russell clarke
I've just bought this on CD having originally owned it ten years ago in the days when I was still buying cassettes, so to hear it again for the first time in ages was fantastic -... Read morePublished on 22 Jan. 2004
Phew. Sugar's first album Copper Blue took some beating in the guitar-frenzy stakes (particularly the rockier stuff on what us quaint old-fashioned types used to call Side 2 - The... Read morePublished on 25 Nov. 2003 by Dave Thomas