Friday, September 30, 2011

FDF Volume 3 Issue 242 Static-X Wisconsin Death Trip

By: March

Album – Wisconsin Death Trip
Artist – Static - X
Key Players - Koichi Fukuda – guitars, keyboards, programming. Tony Campos – bass, backing vocals. Ken Jay – drums. Wayne Static – Lead vocals, guitars, programming.
Produced By - Ulrich Wild and Static-X

Release Date – March 23, 1999

What caused me to blow off the dust? Lead singer of the band (Wayne Static) released a solo album recently. I haven't heard it, but it got me thinking about the band, and it has/had been a while for sure.

Overview – This is the debut album from Los Angeles band Static-X. The band would blend nu metal (popular at the time) with industrial and alternative rock. (The band likes to call their music “evil disco”) Formed in 1994 the album would go platinum, but it would never break the top 100 on the Billboard charts (It would chart higher on others, such as “Heatseekers”, where it would go to #1). There would three singles released form the record, but none would crack the top 20. They'd continue to release albums and tour until 2009 when they'd go on hiatus.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) - “Push It” is the first track on the 16 song album. It was also the first single released to radio. The guitars bass and drums all come up with big riffs before it gets the buzzing start/stop feel. Static has a gravel voice and gets help with some yelps and screams. The track is heavy with a very heavy industrial feel. The wall of guitar is at the front of the mix with the bass and drums rumbling under. Fukuda tosses in a few samples about the two minute mark, but the band is quick to keep the buzzy swirl on going. The album has the same feel of intensity and “I'm with Stupid” is no less intense. There are a bit more keyboards and samples than the lead off track and the band uses the stops in music for the samples. Static is a little more rapid on his vocals during the verses and will reach down for some heavy growls. Campos and Jay work well together keeping the tempo in check. Fukuda gets a short keyboard run and then everyone drops out excluding the vocals and Jay on the drums before it all comes back for one more run of the chorus. The second single from the album “Bled for Days” follows. The keyboard stutters before the grind of the bass and guitars start. Its loops on the same big riff and Static begins the vocals. The vocals are chanted almost and they band seems okay with the samples filling the gaps. Leading to the chorus the sound gets very big and intense. Static sings even quicker and the backing vocals are slightly subdued but stand on their own during the barrage of sound. The term “evil disco” fits. A female voice is used in the sample that starts with “Love Dump”. Jay clangs the drums then switches to the bass drum and the guitar riff begins to play a similar pattern. It seems to take ages, but the band finally comes in and the song rumbles forward. Static has a limited vocal range and on this track he seems to be going up in range from prior tracks. When you sing a line “your ass smells like a rose” I guess you don't want sappy sounding vocals. The blend of industrial and hard rock works well. Easy to cite the Ministry influence through out. The guitars are phased speaker to speaker on “I Am” a track that seems to find Jay hitting the drums even harder, if that is even possible. Campos offers quick bass chords before Static starts to sing. The backing vocals are largely limited to background screams as Fukuda will change between guitars and samples. “Otsegolation” has the heaviest keyboard/sample intro to this point on the record. Jay, and Campos work to fit in and then the guitar cuts across like a sceeching wheel. The song as a slight “tin” sound to it, but the band has found a bottom heavy vibe only offset by those screetching guitar chops. Birds chirp in the sample as “Stem” begins. The intro continues to be a low key, slow building track with Fukuda light on the keyboard. Static gives a yell and the band comes in. It is heavy, but has a little more bounce to it. It has a little bit of a funk groove to it with the swooping calm bass line but the guitars on overdrive toss that theory out the window. The track fades right over to “Sweat of the Bud” which sounds like a plane taking off before Campos and Static fire the sound off one another. Campos sounds like a caged animal trying to get out. His tempo seems to excite the band and the guitars and bass seem to have all that more crunch. Static gets some vocal treatment so as he shouts “GO” it has a bubbled sound that is a hybrid of evil/alien. Fukuda tosses a keyboard sample that seems to send the track in a different direction, but that is short lived and the wall of guitar, bass and drums takes it back over. Fukuda opens with a repeated few notes and then “Fix” takes off. Static is right up on the vocals with no delay. Static again is quick and almost changing his parts. Campos seems to get a good punch out of his bass at times and the guitar is as heavy as always. “Wisconsin Death Trip” has the choppy guitars and Fukuda drops in a chirping sample giving it a funny feel, but it makes the guitar bass and drums seem all the more brutal when they come in. Atmospheric keyboards start of “The Trance Is The Motion”. It is just the keyboards/samples before electronic hand claps and then Campos is the first one heard. Slow plodding bass line for a few bars and then Jay gets on the ride cymbals before the single long droning guitar parts start. We haven't broken any new ground, but the change of pace musically seems a little refreshing. The album concludes with the longest track in “December”. The atmospheric keyboards are again the norm and spread out before the vocals start. There are no buzzing guitars, just a hushed vocal track. The song doesn't feel that long and ends suddenly.

Where are they now? - The band is currently on hiatus. In 2009 Wayne Static reported he'd be focusing on his side project “Pighammer” and his debut will be out on October 4th, 2011. Tony Campos joined Ministry for a tour in 2007 during some band downtime, he is listed as a former member but the “current” band does not list a full time bass player. Ken Jay left the band around 2001. Fukuda is a member of the band Drugstore Fanatics.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) - I saw the band two times. The first was as a headliner on May 7, 2000 at Lupos in Providence. I don't recall a ton of the show, and I don't have a list of the support acts which sometimes help me remember more. The second time was part of Ozzfest. July 30, 2000 at the Tweeter Center in Mansfield, MA. Again, I don't recall them as being a main stage or side stage band. I think they were main stage, but I am not 100% sure.

FDF Overall Take – If you like industrial/metal music you'll like it. It hasn't aged the best and feels sorta the same for the duration, but it is what it is. Some songs resonate better than others. The record is a good into to the band, and as noted, if you like the genre you'll dig.


Official Site

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

You can still get the album


Friday, September 23, 2011

FDF Volume 3 Issue 241 - Texas is the Reason - Do You Know Who You Are

By: March

Album – Do You Know Who You Are?
Artist – Texas is the Reason
Key Players – Norm Arenas – guitar. Chris Daly – drums. Scott Winegard – bass. Garrett Klahn – guitar,vocals.

Produced By – J.Robbins

Release Date – April 30, 1996

What caused me to blow off the dust? - Shuffle on iTunes. I heard 2 tracks in the span of an 8hr work day and decided I wanted to listen to it in full.

Overview – This is the first and only full length album from New York City based band “Texas is the Reason”. Formed in 1994 with a name inspired by a Misfits song entitled “Bullet” the band would become an underground sensation. The album, rumored to be named after the last statement heard by John Lennon would also allude towards the John F. Kennedy assassination theories in the song titles. The band was about to really get big and sign to a major label when they headed to Europe for a tour. On the final night of the tour founders Daly and Arenas agreed this would be their final show and would subsequently dissolve the band.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) The 37 minute album opens with “Johnny on the Spot” with all the members coming in together. There is a particular punch to the drums and Klahn has a nasal vocal style, but he pushes himself with the big riffs and the help of Arenas and Wiengard. The band is on task with not a lot of big fills, a straight ahead rock song. After the second verse the band seems to have a short jam, but head to the chorus before long. The section just feels a few bars longer. After the second chorus the music slows some with Wiengard and Daly holding it down for the guitars to chime off one another. Daly seems ready to go and hits it down and the band comes back in for another run at the chorus. Daly likes his snare and crash cymbals but towards the end finds the rumble of his tom-toms as Arenas and Klahn battle off one another at the conclusion. “The Magic Bullet Theory” begins with a grating guitar riff and the whole bands comes in. The two guitars sound great together with neither really taking the other over. The two are focus points on the song with Klahn really wearing his emotions on his sleeve. The band offers a few portions of backing vocals. We mellow out, at least at the start of “Nickel Wound”. Winegard and Daly again lay the foundation as the guitars work to find their place. When Klahn comes in he is more laid back, but then the music gets more urgent. They strike forward the band fires off each other. We get those big walls of bass/guitar/drums which can get the listener in a particular mood. Some of the backing vocals are shouted, but they are tucked under the music enough so as to not pull the listener away. They do repeat this formula, but it somehow doesn't feel stale. Winegard is solo at the start of “There Is No Way I Can Talk Myself Out of This One Tonight”. The guitars join forces before Daly comes in. Often identified as an emo band, you can hear it in the vocals. I'd have to say if you were not sure what “emo” is, this is a pretty good example. The mix is good on the track as one can hear the tambourine shaking along with the clanging hi-hat as the guitars swirl. The band never really opens up like you might think they would or could, still it fits with the feel of the record. “Something to Forget” has Daly and Winegard for the first 15 seconds before Arenas and Klahn come screaming in on guitars. The urgency lays back some when the verses are sung, but they still hit hard. Daly hits the kit pretty hard on the track and Daly feeds right off him as the two are the cornerstone of the track. Klahn seems to push himself pretty well and there are backing vocals to really fill out the song. While speaking of the backing vocals this track is the most they are utilized, at least to this point, and it honestly gives the song all that much more punch. The guitars are great too. “Do You Know Who You Are?” is an instrumental track, with the guitars buzzing on one side, but ringing distinct lines at the same time. The bass and drums are pretty hushed having the guitars be the main focus. We get back to full bore on “Back and To The Left” an almost punk rock tempo Klahn seems to be pushing the band, almost begging them to keep up. He, and Arenas attack their guitars and Daly continues to abuse his drum kit. Easily one of the stand out tracks on the album. Daly clicks off “The Day's Refrain” and continues as a single guitar comes in. When the full band comes in we are little more on the laid back side. They get a little more rowdy towards the end but it not to push away listeners. The album concludes with, what in my opinion, is their shining moment the track “A Jack With One Eye”. The guitars work off one another at the start before the very methodical drum beat from Daly starts. Wiengard swoops the bass line the same as the guitar part, while the second guitar starts to break out. Its a hushed, slow building song which repeats the riff for close to the first minute of the song. When Klahn comes in, he is quiet and held back some as the band seems to drop riffs and notes in a scattered pattern only then swelling as one massive collective and just hammering with a great hook. Klahn, once again, really pushes and digs deep as the band just explodes around him. They repeat this and it doesn't loose any of its punch. You want this over and over again and they pull through. I bet this is/was epic live. A great album closer.

Where are they now? After the band broke up Klahn went to the band “New Rising Sons”, Daly went to Jets to Brazil and Winegard starting working in the music business and then getting back to playing with the Americans. In 2006 the band re-formed for what was supposed to be a one off show in New York, it sold out quickly so a second show was added. The band insisted there would be no tour and they were not reforming the band. Since then there is some info on their
label page

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) – 100% admit I found out about this band well after they broke up.

FDF Overall Take – There are some really great moments on this record. Even if you are not sure what “emo” is (check here) you'll start to get it if/when you listen to this. Sure others may have done it before/better/faster/stronger etc, but this is a very strong example of the genre. The mystique of the band is even more full blown with the demise before they could have potentially exploded. It is a good rock record, really. Worth your time and very few “duds” on the record.


Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

You can still find the album here.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Farewell to REM

Thank you for the memories.

Band Annoucement

Friday, September 16, 2011

FDF Volume 3 Issue 240 The Church - Priest = Aura

By: March

Album – Priest = Aura
Artist – The Church
Key Players – Peter Koppes - guitar, Jay Dee Daugherty - drums, Marty Willson-Piper - guitar, Steven Kilbey – bass and lead vocals.
Produced By – The Church and Gavin MacKillop

Release Date – March 10, 1992

What caused me to blow off the dust? - I will admit I am a casual at best fan of The Church. It seems what I like, I like, but I had never really explored their catalog. They released a few records I'd buy one, they'd release a few more I'd buy another. Just felt it was time to give this the old “front to back”

Overview – This is the eighth studio album from Australia based band “The Church”. Formed in 1980 Marty Wilson-Piper, Steve Kilbey and Peter Koppes have remained members to this day. Blending alternative rock, new wave and tosses of psychedelia the band have had their ups and downs in the US. Widely known for their 1988 album “Starfish” (Under the Milky Way is on this record) the band has struggled to gain further commercial success. This particular album, rumored to have been fueled by opiate use, would take the band in a new direction. They'd record the longest album to this point, with many songs over 6 minutes in length. It would be released to a mixed reception. Koppes would leave the band for a while as well. Things would get “better” with the three by 1998 and in 2010 the band were inducted to the ARIA Hall of Fame in Sydney Australia.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) - “Aura” starts off the record with lush keyboard sound scapes slowly building before Daugherty rolls across the kit and everyone comes in. Kilbey sings in a deep baritone and keeps his bass line groove locked in. The guitars from Wilson-Piper and Koppes are strong, but are quick and allow for the vocals to be sung without much tension from the band. Hushed backing vocals add to the dark feel and Daugherty hits the drums with just that right amount to push things. Wilson-Piper and Koppes do a nice job backing off one another on guitar. Musically the band is tight knit, a trend that will last the record. “Ripple” begins with a single guitar repeating a riff before the vocals start. Kilbey has a unique voice, its very deep and he doesn't seem to push, or want to push himself, but it is perfect within the context of the songs. The full band comes in and the song is a little more uptempo than the opener, but it is not really “rocking” track. Still, the backing vocals, the layers and texture of the track are very cool, offering the listener a series of directions to follow, none which would be wrong. If you like bass, its there, drums, sure thing, you get my drift? Lush guitars once more shimmer at the start of “Paradox”. This track has more work with the backing vocals and the call and response, but its not campy. At this point the listener will either love, or be bored with Kilbey's vocals. They continue to be deep baritone with just that right push, never really going out of control, or of context of the song. Percussive instruments and then a long drum build up get “Lustre” started. Daugherty is a very tight drummer and the production on his drum kit is terrific. From the toms, to cymbal crashes the listener is awash in a great sound. Wilson-Piper and Koppes are no slouches either. The guitars continue on “Swan Lake” a track that feels a little slow(er) than other tracks so far on the record. We haven't really taken off. The band wants you to listen to the words, to experience the music and its hard to focus on other things when the song plays. Daugherty starts things on “Feel” with a simple tempo and Wilson-Piper and Koppes on guitar ringing over one another. Kilbey seems to soar a little more over their playing while laying down a complex bass line. This feels like the most uptempo and “catchy” song to this point. The band sounds good when they spread out, and the piano helps. The bass from Kilbey plays nicely off a piano as “Mistress” begins. The guitars are kept in check and are quiet as the song slowly rolls forward. Another strong example of band harmonies on backing vocals as the drums and percussive instruments accent the keyboard fills. “Kings” opens a little more playful and feels a little more “poppy” with the big drum burst after the guitar intro. It feels like it could have (or should have) taken off, but it keeps a steady even pace. Once again the production on the record is great with every instrument clear as if you were in the room. From the simple tambourine shake to the rumbling floor tom you can hear it all. Kilbey has his bass right up as “Dome” gets underway before Wilson-Piper and Koppes compliment him on guitar. Again, the band seems a little hesitant to really take off. It is a pretty song, as many are, you just want them to unload at times. “Witch Hunt” is hardly 2 minutes long, a big change from other tracks and it fades out to “The Disillusionist” which slowly fades up with the guitars and drums. This track stands out as the backing vocals feel the most pushing on the whole record. Almost chanted, and deep (from the gut) this is the most vocally hard hitting track. “Old Flame” goes back to the guitar intro we have become used to. Kilbey is still hushed and the guitars are very low in the mix. It feels very slow overall, a very moody track. Kilbey plucks the bass alone as “Chaos” begins. A single guitar adds on before Daugherty hits the floor toms and he seems to push the song forward. Kilbey sounds strong on the track as the instruments tend to lock in early but provide a solid underbelly. Kilbey and Daugherty seem to work well off each other on this track and towards the middle Daugherty unloads about as much as anyone has heard. The best part is that is was so good they do it all over again. The album concludes with the track “Film”. A slow percussive build as keyboards join in and after a few bars Daugherty hits down and the guitars and bass join in. The track is instrumental and is actually quite good in showing the members talents. A solid album closer.

Where are they now? - The band is still active. All three of the core members still write, record and tour as The Church, but also have released solo albums. Jay Dee Daugherty was brought in prior to this album, coming from Patti Smith's band. He'd stay with the band until 1993.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) – I've actually never seen the band live.

FDF Overall Take – I don't have a ton of Church albums so its hard for me to really be a judge. As great as the band sounds I waited for them to give me a rocking tune. Sure its pretty, sure Kilbey sounds wonderful as do the others. I know there are thousands of records that rock and thousands that are laid back. The band feels held back at times but long time fans seem to look at this as a real shining moment for the band. It showcases a great cohesiveness for sure. It is not bad, really its pretty darn good, but it is a mood record. You'll put this on late night vs. trying to get a party started that is for sure.

The band official page here.
Tons of info on a Wiki page

I am a big fan of Boston based Music Blogger Bradleys Almanac. Brad hit the show in which the band played this album (and two others in full) he posted to his site. If the links are down I am sure a nice message might have them restored for you. No promises though, but he is one of the good ones. If you start here you will find the "Starfish" set he recorded, the links to the other posts/albums are there too.

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

Various sources of them playing some of my faves from the record (oh and one studio version)

You can still get the album here.

Friday, September 09, 2011

FDF Volume 3 Issue 239 - The Amazing Royal Crowns - Self Titled

By: March

Album – The Amazing Royal Crowns (Self Titled)
Artist – The Amazing Royal Crowns
Key Players – The Colonel (J.D.Burgess) – guitars. Super8 Nate (Judd Williams) – Drums. Jason “King” Kendall – vocals. Jack “the Swinger” Hamilton - bass
Produced By – Tom Buckland and The Amazing Royal Crowns

Release Date - 1998

What caused me to blow off the dust? - Strike another one to the 1.00 bin in Ohio when I was on vacation. I recalled "Do the Devil", so why not?

Overview – The band was formed in the early 1990's and gigged around New England. The Providence, Rhode Island based band would win the WBCN Rock and Roll Rumble in 1997, a local showcase for bands with cash, prizes and studio time as awards. Two years later the band was legally forced to change their name to “The Amazing Crowns” to not confuse fans with another band “Royal Crown Revue”. Still, they'd tour extensively with like minded bands (Mighty Might Bosstones) but after a second release in 2000, and the rockabilly genre losing its luster the band folded.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) – The album opens with the track “Shiverin In The Corner”. Burgess has a very cool compressed, but clean guitar sound and then it begins to get that rockabilly vibe. The ride cymbal gets a work out from Williams and Hamilton chugs across the bass. Kendall is quick and aggressive on his vocals, but they are clean. The guitar eases off after the first verse letting the bass and drums drive the song, a fun opener. If there was a single off the record released to radio, it came in“Do The Devil” and for good reason. After singing the song name horns come in and the surf vibe on guitar takes over. The horns feed off the bass and drums in a 12 bar blues run. They shout “Do the Devil” and there is a great trombone solo from Chris Rhodes (the horns are from Spring Heeled Jack Boys) and there is a great sax run as well. Its a fun foot stomping romp of a song. Burgess continues with the great guitar sound as “Fireball Stomp” opens. Hamilton and Williams are laid back, but mark the time perfectly. Burgess gets to solo for a bit while Kendall cheers him on before Williams rumbles the drums back in time. “Scene Of The Crime” has a very cool vibe with Burgess repeating a few guitar notes before the bass and drums swing in. Kendall doesn't have this elaborate range, but he chants when he should and then sings with a snarl in his voice when he needs to. If you are not sure you like rockabilly this would be a song to test yourself on. Its toe taping stuff for sure. “Minute With The Maker” follows suit, book ending the prior track really well. Burgess continues to shine on guitar with a great solo that has that great blend of punch and twang. The song wraps up with one of the few moments so far where there are backing vocal harmonies. “Gretschy” is a little slow to get off the ground, but when it takes off its about as fast as anything on the record. Williams hammers out the beat and Burgess attacks his guitar. Hamilton is thumping the upright bass with quick strokes on this instrumental run. The bass is a little too low in the mix, but the band is really tight on this track. The only vocals are “1-2-3-4” as the band circles around a riff. The bass is a little more even on “Mr Lucky” and Williams seems to get the biggest work out. I am not sure how big his drum kit is, but he makes it sound like a stadium kit, he is just all over the place with tight fills and driving rhythm. Burgess chops his guitar over the bass and drums and Kendall as a particular howl to his voice on the track. “Rollercoaster” follows with Burgess as the lone instrument at the start. He works to get it rolling, then the band comes in and it takes off. He picks at his guitar with Williams and Hamilton locking back to the 12 bar blues with Kendall singing at a machine gun pace. Williams drums get this rumble later in the track that shakes the floorboards. “1965 G.T.O” is the longest track on the record at 3:21. It is a little slower at the start, with Kendall singing a few words before the band all comes in to accent the vocals. After a bit of this Burgess takes off and the band follows suit for a rowdy, quick rumble. “King Of The Joint” continues the same path we have heard, the band doesn't really break new ground, but they do this music so well there really is no need. It will feel very repetitive to some, but your feet are tapping so quickly you tend not to mind. “Wreckin Machine” takes off like a bull out of the gate and the band rumbles along with Kendall singing about has quickly as he can. We seemingly slow things down for “If He Can't”. This is the first track I really feel Hamilton's upright bass gets the attention it deserves. You'll be dropped back in to “Happy Days” with the feel of the song, he just swings it mama. The final two tracks “Harem Caravan” and “Swimming In Drinks” keep true to the entire record. Each member is clear and and on task, the bass rumbles, the drums rumble and the guitar punches you right over the top.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) – I never saw the band live.

FDF Overall Take – I have no idea if the band had much of a ripple outside of New England. If you are a casual fan of the genre, you may get bored quickly. It is a very solid effort, but it can sound repetitive to some that don't have the patience for it. They put a good twist on it with the speed of the songs, hardly ever holding back, if at all. Worth a spin if you can find it for few bucks.

Myspace page

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

You can still find the record here

Friday, September 02, 2011

FDF Volume 3 Issue 238 - Peter Murphy - Holy Smoke

By: March

Album – Holy Smoke
Artist – Peter Murphy
Key Players – Eddie Branch – bass. Peter Bonas – lead and acoustic guitars. Terl Bryant – Drums and percussion. Paul Statham – keyboards, acoustic guitars. Peter Murphy – vocals, guitar, keyboard
Produced By – Mike Thorne and Peter Murphy

Release Date - April 14,1992

What caused me to blow off the dust? - I have been a very casual fan of his work. I don't have many of his solo records but I heard a track by him recently and it got me to thinking it was time to have another listen.

Overview – Peter Murphy was born near Northampton, England in 1957. He fronted the goth band “Bauhaus” and was soon pegged with the moniker, “Godfather of Goth”. Bauhaus disbanded in 1983 (for the first time) and Murphy tried his hand at acting and dance and then formed a band called “Dali's Car”. That band would only release one record. Murphy would struggle in his native country, but would slowly gain momentum with US audiences. This was his fourth solo release

FDF Comments (aka the songs) – The lead off track “Keep Me From Harm” has a chant going for the first 30 seconds or so before the bass and drums start. Murphy seems light on his vocal delivery and the cheerful piano from Statham helps. Branch seems to work the bass well and he plays well with drummer Bryant. Statham has some nice fills and is the instrumental highlight throughout. “Kill the Hate” opens with a calm slapped bass from Branch. The guitars ring a delay over the bass and Murphy's deep baritone grabs you right away. It is a slow to grow song. The bass and guitar lead the way with some percussion instruments before Bryant rumbles across the kit to get things a little more uptempo. Murphy won't stain too hard and he doesn't need to. All the instruments are layered nicely with no one instrument being the dominant focus. Statham puts down a heavy church organ sounding portion towards the end as the song begins to wrap up. We start with keyboard once more on
“You're So Close”. After a quick intro the keyboards get a little more colorful. The ambient vibe then brings in the bass and guitar. The drums seem to be focused on just the bass drum. After a bit of a tease the band comes in and the vocals begin. Bonas has a very nice full guitar sound on this track with the backing vocals and harmonies being strong points as well. The band seems to really gel as the track progresses with some nice layers on the vocals, and the band just growing together. No guitar solo, no off the chart drum part, just perfect with in the context here. The track that was a single comes in “The Sweetest Drop”. Keyboards flutter and guest vocalist Alison Limerick offers up some light coo's before the deep baritone from Murphy rumbles. As the chorus approaches after the first verse he seems to really push himself. He is not going out of range, but seems to push himself more. Branch finds a nice groove in his bass line. In the later verse/chorus Murphy works in tandem with Limerick. She doesn't take the lead but offers a compliment to Murphy. The first guitar solo comes as Bonas puts some light effects on this guitar, but it is not a flashy run. Branch and Bryant also keep things in check before Limerick comes in with a few more howls. It maintains this feel for the final minute or so of the track as it starts to fade. Bonas strikes his guitar with choopy, but suppressed notes at the start of “Low Room”. The start of the track finds the band seemingly chomping to get started. Bryant pounds a note here, thee the next time, then two. The full band comes in almost at the one minute mark before Murphy starts the vocals. It has a twangy feel to it almost, but it not country by any means, just has that “feel” for some reason. Branch finds a pocket with the bass and Bonas is careful with his guitar fills but the two continue to be spot on. There are times the track seems to stray from the course, but they all quickly come back on task. Murphy seems urgent on the track, with the guitars ringing his sentiment with short choppy rings. “Let Me Love You” has a cool guitar intro, simple, but it hits you right in the brain. Statham offers up ambient fills as the only other instrument as Murphy sings the entire first verse. This is a formula that is kept with Branch coming in later, but the drums don't ever really take off. Bells, or chimes, ring before Bonas come up on guitar at the start of “Our Secret Garden”. After a few bars the bass and drums come in. They keep pace and Statham puts in some short keyboard fills but nobody is really pushing the track forward. It seems to find it's comfort zone early and then Murphy begins to sing. Murphy sounds good and is really the focus on the track as the band seems to sit back. Statham seems to be higher in the mix with his keyboard fills, but they are not flashy and seem to fit just fine with the tempo and feel of the track. “Dream Gone By” has a more uptempo, rock intro. There appears to be both acoustic and electric guitars and the drums punch right through them. This feels like the quickest song on the record, but it is hardly “blazing”. Murphy is in fine form and the acoustic guitar adds a nice touch to the electric guitar parts. This sets up the good guitar solo, even if it is after a sort of campy “counting lyrics” portion. The solo is long and the acoustic adds even more a bite. The album concludes with “Hit Song” another slower, yet big sounding track. Branch, Bonas and Bryant hold back. Murphy pushes along pretty well and gets some backing vocal help. Bonas finds his groove with some delayed guitar fills while Bryant keeps everyone in check with on the spot timekeeping. Bryant gives it a big stadium floor drum “boom” before Murphy comes with the chorus for a “lighter in the air” moment. There is a tenth (hidden track) that is about 40 seconds long of the same“oohs/ahhs” that open the are not missing anything.

Where are they now? - Murphy was part of a few Bauhaus reunion tours as well as a new release from the band in 2008 called “Go Away White”. (The band would break up again before the actual release). Murphy has released many solo albums and his most recent “Ninth” came out in 2011. He has released tracks via his website as well. According to his site he is on tour (see links). Murphy, who has lived in Turkey for the last 20 years, is a Vegan, Muslim and father of two children.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) – I have not seen Murphy as a solo artist. I did see him fronting Bauhaus on a reunion tour November 13, 2005 at the Orpheum in Boston.

FDF Overall Take – Murphy has a great voice. Really its pretty awesome. He doesn't have this soaring vocal style, but its deep and full and really pulls you in. He surrounds himself with strong musicians as well which adds to it. The tracks are okay on this album. The single(s) are good some stuff seems to go on just a bit too long, but overall its a decent record. You'd be able to find this in the cheap rack at your local shop. A deal for sure.


Official Site
Twitter Feed
Peter on Facebook
And, a good old myspace page

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

Let me Love You – Audio only

You can still find the album, here is one place