Released around the same time as Nine Inch Nails' long overdue "The Fragile", and boasting a definite Reznor-esque influence, Rico's "Sanctuary Medicines" was, without doubt, one of the revelations of 1999. There aren't many albums written and recorded in garages which turn out to be any good, and I have no idea what's wrong with Rico's home life but whatever it is it's great for his musical creativity as this is a debut it's hard to fault. The style is somewhere inbetween the aforementioned Mr Reznor's industrial leanings and trip-hop beats almost reminiscent of Portishead, all topped off with a heady dose of introspective lyricism, and it's amazing how well it all works, from the first bars of "Shave Your Head" in which Rico's motto - "if you're still making records without you're pain, you're still making records which sound the same" - is set in stone, to the long fade out of the astonishing end piece "Dear God...". Well, God alone knows where he can go next with this type of music, but there are very few better albums than this in heaven or on earth.
I've had this album for 5 years, since it was recommended by a guy working in my local record shop. It still sounds fresh, exciting and involving when I go listen to it. The most underrated artist in years, on the strength of this album he should be touring stadiums around the world with platinum albums everywhere. Buy it, you won't regret it!
One of the few albums i keep going back to. From the opening track Shave Your Head thru to the equisite hatred of commercialism on Overload and beyond to the tender Dear God. Pure brilliance all the way. This is what the kids should listen to instead of the (why are they here ?) trite and dull works of Korn and Limp Bizkit etc. This should be dubbed this generation's "Born To Run"
This was a repurchase, as I'd lost my original. There's something unique about Rico, whilst not designed to appeal to everybody, if you like him you'll REALLY like him. The music's grungy and grimy, trip hop infused industrial. Even the "fillers" on the album are growers, which after a few regular airings make you realize they're not actually fillers, they're just not instantly accessible. The one criticism I could level at Rico is lyrically he sometimes struggles, but the music and energy eclipse this throughout. All in all a superb album, which deserved more commercial success.
Absolutley loved this album. The lyrics have a consistantly melancholy undertone but despite this is can be a very uplifting listen. I would describe this as a producers album. The composition is witty and original with subtly use of drones and gritty agitating sounds to create an uneasy listening vibe.
very clever, eclectic, accessable. We have metal, hip hop, tunes, great lyrics, anthems, noise, silence, samples, guitar, ground shaking rhythm and unshakable groove...really great music. The best debut of 1999. This is NIN with a sense of humour and real songs. This should put "Nu-Metal" on the British map and this Scottish artist on the world map. Buy this album, even if you don't like metal, because it's so much more than that.