Friday, May 14, 2010

FDF Volume 2 Issue 184: The Mission - Carved in Sand

By: March

Album - Carved in Sand
Artist - The Mission
Key Players - Wayne Hussey - lead vocals, guitar. Mark Gemini-Thwaite - guitar. Craig Adams - Bass. Mick Brown - drums.
Produced By - Tim Palmer

Release Date - February 1990

What caused me to blow off the dust? - This is a cd that I recall hearing a lot in my early college years but when I went looking for it I found I had it on tape, I recently updated to a used cd version of it. They just have been on the brain for bit I guess. As a note, this album was re-issued in 2008, the write up here is based off the original studio release.

Overview - This was the fourth studio album from Leed England based "The Mission". Formed out of a disbanding of "Sisters of Mercy" singer Wayne Hussey and bassist Craig Adams formed the goth/hard rock band and would go on to release a total of nine studio albums. The album did the band so well that an album of outtakes was released in the fall of the same year called "Grains of Sand".

FDF Comments (aka the songs) - The album opens with the track "Amelia" that pains me to say that I love. The song just rips, but is about childhood rape and incest. The lyrics are just stomach churning but the music does its best to get you to forget about the subject. Hussey is in really terrific voice pushing himself in vocal range and the band is full and hammers down the melody. Adams and Brown are rock solid and Gemini-Thwaite runs some cool guitar effects over the chorus that combines a flange and chorus. It ends quickly and quickly goes in to the track "Into the Blue". A trade mark big guitar opens up the track as the bass and drums chug underneath. Guitarist and sometimes Bowie axe man Reeves Gabrels assists on the guitar work. Hussey is a little laid back at the outset using his deep baritone. There is more of a guitar solo on the back end of this song, but you are hit so hard with the booming bass and drums it almost seems buried. One of the bigger tracks from the record was "Butterfly on a Wheel". This is much less rowdy track than the other two so far. The slow guitar build splashes with an acoustic guitar strum here and there and the drums seem to pushed to the side with a metronome keeping the beat on a computer sounding drum. The track is more awash with keyboards than bass/guitar/drums. As the chorus draw the band seems to come together but they never get carried away. This could be a great acoustic/unplugged song. It is a pretty song, but feels like it could be just "that much more". Hussey shines on the last run of the chorus, but by then it feels a little too late. Its a great song, don't get me wrong, perhaps so good you just want "that much more". Sitar opens up "Sea of Love" and it keeps a neat "Indian" vibe until about 1:20 in before the band all comes in and we get a little more rocking once more. The sitar remains but the bass and drums are tight and Hussey is in fine form vocally. The splashes of guitar add a nice accent to the sitar. The vocals get some studio trickery done before the band has a tight jam in the middle. The track runs a great verse/chorus/verse in the latter half. A strong track. The music hardly fades before "Deliverance" begins. Another massive sounding track with chiming guitars and big downbeats from Brown. Adams tosses in a few bass notes here and there and the song slowly builds. It has the same urgency and vibe as the first track on the album, and offers a really huge sound. A defining track from the band without a doubt. We are much more laid back on "Grapes of Wrath". Opening with long keyboard tones that flutter with an occasional second or third note. "Belief" is much the same as "Grapes" in that there is just a full sound, but we are kept in check never letting it get too wild at least for a bit. As the chorus approaches they get a little more urgent, but fall back to the steady pace from the start of the track. This is a longer track from the band clocking in at over 7 minutes long, and they keep busy the entire time, it is not just fill. An acoustic lead "Paradise (Will Shine Like the Moon)" opens up very strong. It sounds like a perfect campfire sing along, but on the rocking end of it. The long acoustic is crisp and Hussey sings the song with urgency and drives it forward. It gets even more rocking and the full band joins in and it seems to grow faster and faster and there runs a great guitar solo as well. "Hungry as the Hunter" has the first rowdy drum opening on the record. The electric guitar is right there at the start as well and then doubles up. The bass gets a deep workout and all this is before the vocals come in. When they do the band is locked in and it rocks out. It is never as flashy as the intro, but one of the more flat out "rockers" on the album. The track "Lovely" closes out the record. It begins low key with percussive instruments and acoustic guitar

Where are they now? - The band was active until 1996 and then they reformed once again from 99 to 2008. Hussey has been the sole long term member and in 2008 he said he was taking a break from "The Mission" For the other members and what they are up to check out this link

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) - I am actually surprised at this..I have not seen the band live. The real head scratcher on this is that I have a cd that is a split with the Wonder Stuff, whom they toured with at one point, and I really dug the Wonder Stuff and have no idea why I would have missed them. Need some help old friends? Did the tour get cancelled?

FDF Overall Take - I have to admit, that what I like on this disc I really like and wanted it all to be more on the rocking side. Sure the mellower stuff shows they are not comfortable with just one set mood. With that, this is a pretty strong record and I think if you own it, you agree, and if you don't own it you might be curious enough to check them out.

The band has an official site that is very well kept. Also, they are on myspace. For even more check out this link that has links to fan site, member and former member pages

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

the songs have been removed...

Sea of Love

Tracks were taken from "Carved in Sand" which you can buy here.

Disclaimer - For the most part songs listed you can find on iTunes or your local cd shop. The idea is to give you a little taste of the music. Please support the artist buy purchasing some of their work. Songs are posted for about 1 week but can and will be removed at the request of the artist, band, band management etc. If you are one of those persons contact me via the email link in the profile and they will be removed as soon as we are made aware of the request.


At 12:18 PM, Blogger Travis Erwin said...

Just so you know I still check out FDF every week.


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