Search - Spacemen 3 :: Sound of Confusion

Sound of Confusion
Spacemen 3
Sound of Confusion
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (11) - Disc #1

2002 reissue of 1995 debut album for critically acclaimed Scottish indie act featuring former Teenage Fanclub drummer Brendan O'Hare. Drawing from the raw sounds & fragile beauty of Suicide & brooding laments of The Velvet...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Spacemen 3
Title: Sound of Confusion
Members Wishing: 8
Total Copies: 0
Label: Taang Records
Release Date: 6/17/1994
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
Styles: Hardcore & Punk, British Alternative, New Wave & Post-Punk
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 722975009320


Album Description
2002 reissue of 1995 debut album for critically acclaimed Scottish indie act featuring former Teenage Fanclub drummer Brendan O'Hare. Drawing from the raw sounds & fragile beauty of Suicide & brooding laments of The Velvet Underground, 'In The Space Of...

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CD Reviews

Wildly uneven but amiable debut
aaron | Canada | 08/06/2002
(2 out of 5 stars)

"If the consumer comes to 'sound of confusion' after hungrily consuming the spacemen's more pulchritudinous later efforts, or spiritualized's wildly successful inroads into baroque pop, then what is almost readily necessitated by this album is a rapid shift in priorities. A number of things, then, have to be said about this:1. Although jason pierce sings most of it, this album bears absolutely no resemblance whatsoever to anything spiritualized ever did. If your favorite spacemen songs are the long, quiet bliss-outs, you will find this record immensely unsatisfying. It isnt the least bit pretty - all of the songs are essentially constructed out of the same three slightly uptuned power chords repeated at different intervals with as high a volume as was permitted by the boys' fragile amps and surf guitars. It isnt the least bit soothing; in fact, it's one of the most corrosive records of the eighties, if not the most corrosive. Half of these songs are furious uptempo rockers, and the other half are slow-burning, acidic dirges. Jason pierce had little to do with the writing or arranging; his place was more to sing and contribute the consistently good lead guitar.2. This is essentially a covers record. Although four of its seven tracks (on the initial release) were credited to the spacemen, in this phase of their career (carrying on to 'perfect prescription') most of their original material simply fastened new lyrics to old proto-punk numbers or traditional songs. Therefore 'hey man' is a loose derivation of 'amen', '2.35' is simply a copy of the rolling stones' 'citadel', and 'OD Catastrophe' is a ridiculous attempt to graft new words onto the stooges' 'TV eye' and take credit for it. The only new track is 'losing touch with my mind', and I use the term 'new' loosely because I simply dont know who it's taken from.3. Virtually all of the songs are in the same key, volume level, and time signature. The boys were still very young and had a lot to learn about songcraft and dynamics. Consequently, while thrilling in small doses, this album is rather tough to swallow all the way through, especially in taang's expanded edition, for sale here.4. This isnt nearly as good as the spacemen's later records. Perfect Prescription is still the best place to start, and their most legitimate claim to any level of >importance"
Spacemen 3's masterpiece debut album; bracingly powerful min
Dave | United States | 01/25/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"During 1984-1985, Spacemen 3 were playing live gigs in their local area of Rugby, England, and they made numerous demo recordings. Their official debut album, "Sound of Confusion", was recorded and mixed during a 5 day stint in the first half of 1986, and was released in July of that year on Pat Fish's Glass Records. Despite Sonic Boom himself being notoriously unhappy with the results, specifically in regard to Bob Lamb's mixing of the album, "Sound of Confusion" is a flat-out masterpiece that doesn't sound at all compromised.

The album is wickedly bracing, with a powerful guitars-cranked-up-to-11 sound on basically every track, and yet, when you mix in the consistently booming, Velvet Underground-style tribal-flavored drumming, the album manages to simultaneously have a mellow, trance-inducing quality. To give some perspective, this is a definite touchstone for My Bloody Valentine's 1991 album "Loveless". "Sound of Confusion", however, is the better album.

The first 7 tracks on this CD are the ones that constituted the original "Sound of Confusion" album. Spacemen 3 nod to their influences with devastating covers of the Stooges' "Little Doll" and the 13th Floor Elevators' "Rollercoaster", as well as a drastically revamped, fuzzed-out version of Juicy Lucy's "Just One Time" (retitled "Mary Anne"). Spacemen 3 make each of these cover songs their own. The Stooges' original version of "Little Doll" is pretty great in its own right, but the Spacemen's version here eclipses it; and as for "Rollercoaster" and "Mary Anne", each of them are vastly superior to the originals. The more-or-less one-chord "O.D. Catastrophe", which deliberately recalls the Stooges "T.V. Eye", is a perfectly fitting, spine-chilling, feedback-soaked album closer. The frenzied, stomping garage rocker "2.35"; the Otis Redding-inspired "Hey Man" (aka "Amen"); and the album-opening declaration "Losing Touch With My Mind" are all superb tracks as well.

The two most prominent members throughout Spacemen 3's existence were Sonic Boom and Jason Pierce. Pierce, who is probably more widely known for his subsequent band Spiritualized, handles all of the vocals on the original album, and his vocals are absolutely perfect for the material--check out his sly, insinuating performance on "Little Doll", or his primal screams and wails at the end of each chorus on "Rollercoaster".

Like the Spacemen 3 in general, this debut album manages to be incredibly deriviative and yet startlingly original all at once.

The 1994 CD issue of "Sound of Confusion" on the Taang! label makes this already essential album even more valuable by adding on the entirety of the 12-inch "Walkin' With Jesus" single which was originally released in November of '86. It starts off with the full-throttle, fast-paced, grinding version of the title track. It's followed by a jaw-droppingly powerful, doom-laden re-recording of "Rollercoaster" that's even more haunting than the album version; okay, so it does run on longer than it needs to at 17+ minutes, with over half of its duration consisting of Jason playing lead guitar over a one-note jam--the version on the "Singles" CD which removes 3+ minutes worth of this is more manageable--but this is ultimately nitpicking. The EP closes with the only truly mellow song on the entire disc, an arresting version of "Feel So Good" with Sonic and Jason alternating back and forth between vocal lines as they would also do on the version that appears on the 1987's "The Perfect Prescription" album.

In closing, a HUGE thumbs up to the Taang! label for an absolutely superb job with this CD. Packed with spellbinding music, no serious music fan can go wrong with this disc from Spacemen 3, one of the most important and underrated bands of all time."
Brett Lloyd | Newport News, Virginia United States | 01/18/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)

"essentially along the same lines as the review Aaron made in 2002, if you're at all interested in Spiritualized or the Perfect Perscription and Playing with Fire albums, then thi album is NOT for you.While I admit it has its moments, the album could've definately been enhanced by stripping back some of the needless overdubs that either hinder or just reduce the songs to cheesiness. The early version of Walking with Jesus is interesting as it more prominantly displays their Suicide influence. Other than that, the version that appears on The Perfect Perscription is the pinnacle version of the song.The 17 minute version of Rollercoaster, which piqued my interest in buying the album because of the great live version found on the Performance album, is less thrilling than I thought ti would be. It's essentially a one-track demo recording that never really takes off and has EXTREMELY cheesey and obviously tacked on samples of rollercoaster noises at the begining and end of the track, all of which makes the track difficult to sit through...All in all, it's not a bad release, but a very difficult one. It should also be noted that both Pierce and Kember prefered the takes of this album as heard on the Taking Drugs to Make Music to Take Drugs To album."