Friday, October 12, 2012

FDF Volume 3 Issue 282 - Low Pop Suicide - The Death of Excellence

Album – The Death of Excellence
Artist – Low Pop Suicide
Key Players - Mark Leonard – bass. Melle Steagal – drums. Rick Boston – guitars, bass, vocals.
(these are the players, but each track seemed to have a differnet drummer, or guitar player etc..i'll do my best on the tracks)
Produced By – Michael Vail Blum and Rick Boston

Release Date - 1994

What caused me to blow off the dust? - This blog is getting up there on a number of artists/albums that have been checked out...with out a a repeat artist. Its getting harder to pick things that many will just find too obscure to care to read. Taking a chance, this was one band I really thought was going to take off.

Overview – Formed in the early 90's Low Pop Suicide would release two albums and tour in support. After the first record there would be some re-organization within the band and the style would change some to this second record. They never really had much on radio or MTV.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) – As noted, the liner notes are extensive, but quickly confusing when they say “Brian Keats played drums on everything except.....” What I will do is list the liner notes at the bottom, and each track I'll just say “the drumming was....” or “the bass....”. Folks will get their due.

A slide rips over the bass strings as “Bless My Body” starts off the 12 song album. The drums click off underneath then the trio hits down. The song has a big full sound with the guitar leading things. Boston begins the vocals. He has a deep baritone and has a fitting voice, it is not overly powerful. After the first verse the band opens up and the song gets that real urgent push, before settling some for the verses but the payoff comes when the band strikes down and that slide bass, which is distorted and raunchy comes back. The trio locks in to a tight groove as it all seems like they want to out hit one another. The frantic feel of the songs continues with “Almost Said”. What you notice about the band is they are able to balance the heaviness with a sense of lyrics. Sure they ease off when Boston sings, but it provides a solid transition on the tracks. The band is tight and knows their place. The mix is solid on the whole record. Bass lines are prominent to the subtle acoustic guitar progression. The band was focused on a solid end result. The track slowly breaks down with the bass having a solid punch to it and acoustic guitars being very dominant. “Suicide Ego” is a slower track than the previous two. Boston's vocal track is slightly delayed and layered. There is a smoother lap steel/piano and the bass work shines on the track. Boston pushes vocally some, but never goes beyond his means. The track “Zombie” has seemingly dueling acoustic guitars. Both sound to be drop tuned and heavy on the low end. Jessy is right there with Boston on the vocal portion. They seem to sing/chant in sync. Its not a backing vocal by anymeans, but not a “duo” by the standard definition. The part that makes tracks like this so fun is you can't piegon hole the band. “Life and Death” starts right out and it is a big booming wall of sound. The band does tend to peel off some when the vocals come in, and its a big shift in gear usually for me. They all hit/strum hard so it can be a wildly differnet feel at vaious points of the track. Still a solid, stand out track on the record this is. Sounding like a smoky live jazz club jam “No Genius” is lead by a swooping upright bass. The drums work to find a place and Boston almost sounds like he is making up the words as he goes. The track is over in just over a minute, and honestly, that is fine. Acoustic guitars open “Humbled” and you get a “last goodbye (jeff buckley) type feel. That big acoustic guitar sound with a solid underbelly of bass. Musically it is big, but Boston is not in any hurry to push the tempo and it remains pretty even for the duration. Guitars are a bit more crunchy on “More than This”. The drum tempo is very 4/4 rock time and this is the bands sort of “cookie cutter” rock song with the tempo and tranistions. It works for them, since the album has had various styles through out. “Philo's Snag” is another slower track with acoustic guitars and violin undertones. Boston seems to talk the lyrics at times. Occasinally he goes up in range so it feels more like he is 'signing' but this is the bands slowest track on the record showcasing the lighter side for sure. Sleigh bells mark the tempo on “Sheep's Clothing”as it begins. Another solid track that has the band it tight form. Deep bass and strong piano lines always keep you guessing what genere to even put the band in. “Face to Face” is another mid tempo, but heavy sounding track. The guitar towards the end is the payoff. It is really the first guitar solo on the album. They close the record out with “Tell Them I Was Here” a slower, yet still booming track.

Scott Petersen played drums on Sheeps Clothing. Jerry Angel played them on “More than This”
Tony Ruiz played bass on “Almost Said, Philo's Snag, Sheeps Clothing, Face to Face and Life and Death”. Mark Leonard put the “pump” on More than This, Suicide Ego and Humbled. Jessy sang on Zombie and Philo's Snag. She “bowed” on Phlo's as well. John Nau played piano on Suicde Ego, Sheeps Clothing. Natalie Wood played guitar on Tell them I was Here and Suicide Ego.

Where are they now? - There is very little out there on the band or performers it seems. World Domination label is long since folded. There is one web site where the person is doing the best they can, and he created a facebook page as well. See the links. Of course, anyone with anything drop a note in comments and we can add them in.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) – I saw the band twice. Both were at Mama Kin in Boston (the small room). I don't have ticket stubs for either show but I am pretty sure it was for early and late legs in support of this record. The second time I was able to talk with Rick for a while, as well as his girlfriend. They were always great live, sounded good. It is a shame they are such an after thought..or an any thought.

FDF Overall Take – The album has its moments. I personally like the harder/heavier stuff from them. They are willing to spread their wings which is to be commended. A mixed listen for me. If I were to move to my mp3 player I'd only pull over a few tracks vs. the entire thing.

Fan site
facebook page

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

Bless My Body

Almost Said

Out of print, but not too hard to find. Start here

Disclaimer – I am just a music fan. Feel free to comment about something that may be written incorrectly about the band/members etc. I strive to have a fun and enjoyable site. This site used to post mp3s but ran in to many issues. The audio clips provided are usually from YouTube. No copy write infringement is intended. Please alert me if something should be pulled. Finally, support the artist featured, or your favorite artist by purchasing their music, seeing their shows if possible and saying hi. They need your support.


Post a Comment

<< Home