Friday, September 12, 2014

FDF Volume 3 Issue 351 - Soul Asylum - Grave Dancers Union

Album – Grave Dancers Union
Artist – Soul Asylum
Key Players - Daniel Murphy – guitar, vocals. Grant Young – drums. Karl Mueller – bass. Dave Pirner – vocals, guitar.
Produced By – Michael Beinhorn

Release Date – October 6, 1992

Overview – This is the sixth studio album from Minneapolis, Minnesota band “Soul Asylum”. Formed in 1981. Up to this point the band had recorded and toured with little fanfare but with the release of this record they'd sell 3+million copies, peak at #11 on the Billboard chart, and win a Grammy award. They'd play the inauguration party for Bill Clinton. They'd continue along nicely for a few years but album sales began to drop and the band was released from their major label (Columbia). The band would rotate a few members over the next few years, but in 2012 they did release new material.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) – Opening with what was the first single from the record
“Somebody To Shove” kicks off the 12 song 45 minute album in fine form. The wall of guitar grabs you and when Pirner begins to sing the Young and Mueller bottom rumbles forth. The layers of guitar on the chorus and the urgency in Pirners voice just continues to grow. A song you'll still hear often enough on radio. “Black Gold”, another big radio single for the band lulls you with some acoustic guitars but then kicks it up with the buzzy rock feel. Young is laid back as Murphy and Pirner intertwine the guitar lines. The mix of acoustic and electric is a nice touch and Pirner has some solid vocal chops with his range. The track that most folks would remember this band for would be the acoustic lead"Runaway Train" . Well known for a video that showed the images of missing children it was instrumental in many reunions with families. Pirner and Murphy seem to find a solid place to play off of and Young has a pretty solid bass line when you really listen to it. The first three songs off the record were released to radio as singles, and you probably hear them all these years later. The band gets a bit more rocking on “Keep It Up” with the low end rock riffs and driving beat. For the first time as well you hear some of the good harmonies and backing vocal work with Pirner and Murphy. They space out some, going more acoustic with “Homesick”. The song has a more spread out feel to it with the band taking its time both musically and lyrically. "Get On Out" finds the band it a bit more of that 'foot stompin' rock mode. It feels new for the band, on the record at least. It stands out and just gets that good rock and roll build and guitars and just a fevered tempo. Lots of fun to listen to, it should have had a hard end vs a fade, but its a solid tune. “New World” is another quieter acoustic guitar based track. This is a pretty track that shows that the band is more than a one trick pony. “April Fool” brings back more of the swooping bar room rock. The guitars bite and the cymbals crash with tense breaks before they open for the chorus. The big 80's feel on the build up to the chorus is another fun touch. A lost or buried track that is fun to hear after many years. Another big single for the band came in “Without a Trace”. Another one that is hard to see as “forgotten” I guess. Another good guitar battle is found on “Growing in to you”. Pirner is a bit more snarly on his vocals and the bass and drums have the urgency to really drive the track. The track “99 %” has a similar feel. There is more distortion on the vocals which gives it that Seattle sound to some extent of what was popular around this time, but the music is pretty solid. Closing out the record is “The Sun Maid” another quieter acoustic lead track.

Where are they now?  Mueller died of cancer in 2004. Murphy left the band in 2012 with the desire to lead a quieter life. Pirner, who is friendly with director Kevin Smith, scored “Chasing Amy” and contributed music to “Clerks” and “Clerks 2”. The bands most recent studio release cam out in 2012 was called “Delayed Reaction”

FDF Overall Take/Was it worth Dusting Off? - Listening in full some 20+ years later it holds up well and its easy to see/hear why it was a big hit for the band. They focused on what worked for them, solid instrumentation with catchy vocals. It is/was dirty feeling, but maybe not grungy as grunge, but that made it stand out all the more.

Links, find out more, follow em and buy!

Fan site -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.


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