Friday, May 26, 2006

FDF Volume 1 Issue 13: Love and Rockets - Express

Album - Express
Artist - Love and Rockets
Key Players - David J (bass + vocals), Daniel Ash (guitar, saxophone, vocals), Kevin Haskins (drums)
Produced by - John River and Love and Rockets.
Released - 1986

Overview - Love and Rockets were formed in 1985 by 3 members of the band Bauhaus. Daniel Ash, David J and Kevin Haskins selected the name from a comic book of the same name. Express was the bands second release. Learning again on hints of goth, glam and even psychedelic sounds the band continued to grow musically and in popularity. The band found some moderate success with "No New Tale to Tell" from the Earth Sun Moon record as well as "So Alive" from their self titled follow up. The band was released from RCA records in 1994 after some weak album sales, released a few more records and then called it quits in 1999.

FDF Comments (aks the Songs) - For a record from a bunch of former goth members its surprising an uptempo affair. The original US release of the cd had 11 tracks 2 of which were "All in my mind" one was an "electric" version, while the other was acoustic. Lead off track "Angels and Devils" takes a bit to get going and would be a perfect live show opener as they could fill the stage with smoke and lights before starting up. "Kundalini Express" has the chugging tempo you'd expect from a song that would talk about trains. One of the more unique covers you'll ever hear is at the mid point of the cd. The band tackles the Temptations song "Ball of Confusion (thats what the world is today)". In the end if I were to play you a song from them to give you the feel/sound of the band I'd go with the epic "Yin and Yang the Flower Pot Man".

Where are they now? - David J and Daniel Ash have both released a few solo albums. Peter Murphy decided to re-form Bauhaus and the guys re-joined him for a reunion tour in 1998. They broke up again, then reformed yet again in 2005 to play Cochella in which during their most famous song "Bela Lugosi's Dead" Peter Murphy hung upside down like a bat. Bauhaus is currently (or just about) ready to hit the road opening for Nine Inch Nails.

FDF Personal Comments - I saw the band live on only two occasions. The first was on the Earth Sun Moon Tour on April 16, 1988 at the Orpheum Theater in Boston. My buddy Steve got tickets and we headed in. I think we had 2nd to last row in the balcony. There are 2 things that really stood out that night. The first was the opening band. They were called "The Mighty Lemon Drops" and I fell in love instantly. I will be doing an FDF on them soon. The second was how L+R chose too take the stage. They had an ep out that had a song called "The Bubblemen". Also at this time they were big in to dressing like white bees. The stage was dark and three "bees" arrived and danced in circles for the duration of the recorded "Bubblemen", then they left the stage, and we waited and waited and waited. It took a good 45 minutes for L+R to return to play. The second and final time I saw the band was April 3, 1996 at the Paradise in Boston. It was a pretty solid crowd as the band had label issues and what have you. It was cool to see them in such a small venue as well.

FDF Overall Take - When I went back to this record there were moments of sheer brilliance but at the same time it shows its age. I found myself skipping a few tracks on the 2nd and 3rd recent spins. If you can find it for cheap the few stand out tracks are really top notch. If the band were smart they'd let this one die and never do a reunion tour. The select few that got it the first time will only appreciate it later.


At 10:42 AM, Blogger cosmic shambles said...

"Kundalini Express" is not about a train at all. The band wants you to "get on board" a spiritual journey to discover one's inner energy.

Kundalini: Energy that lies dormant at the base of the spine until it is activated, as by the practice of yoga, and channeled upward through the chakras in the process of spiritual perfection.

That being said, Love and Rockets made some great music. Kevin Haskins is a very underrated drummer and musician.


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