Long awaited CD issue of Paisley Underground landmark
hyperbolium | Earth, USA | 01/31/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Though Green on Red is more often lauded for their later work with Chuck Prophet (e.g., the country-influenced roots-rock "Gas Food Lodging"), this first full-length LP is a true gem of LA's early-80s "paisley underground." The album's slate of twelve originals (plus a bonus original previously available only on the original cassette release) measures up nicely to the scene's other high-water marks, including Rain Parade's "Emergency 3rd Rail Power Trip," Dream Syndicate's "The Days of Wine & Roses," and The Three O'Clock's "Baroque Hoedown."Though not as edgy as The Dream Syndicate or as punky as The Salvation Army (nor as poppy as their follow-on, The Three O'Clock), Green on Red's "Gravity Talks" integrated many of the same flavors, but resulting in a sound unlike their contemporaries. The mood takes in the bleakness and desperation of Dream Syndicate, the dreamy (or nightmarish) psychedelia of Rain Parade (whose guitarist, Matthew Piucci plays lead on "Snake Beat"), and the darker edges of True West. This is very much a rock record, but with a weariness that belies its youth-oriented genre. Vocalist and lyricist Dan Stuart surveys childhood's end, and finds himself standing at the abyss of adulthood ("Brave Generation"), assaying the failure and resignation that might lay ahead ("Old Chief"), and contemplating final departure ("Blue Parade").The band smooths down the harder guitar sound that sparked their previous EP, taking a more contemplative approach, with longer instrumental passages dominated by organ lines that bring to mind The Doors. The purposeful nostalgia of the EP gives way to more fully digested influences, with Stuart's vocals straddling the chasm of innocence, despair and abandon that once served Roky Erickson so effectively.Given the album's superb quality and musical uniqueness, it's surprising that it took 19 years to find CD release (especially considering that the bulk of the band's catalog made it to CD many years ago). Wounded Bird's reissue includes the track "Alice," previously available only on the original release's cassette edition. Though not essential, the track clearly fits musically and thematically with the rest of the album. The audio transfer is excellent, and the cover art, though necessarily reduced in dimension from the original LP, is sharply reproduced. It would have been nice to find some nearly penned liner notes (discussing the band, the album, the scene), but, in the end, the music speaks for itself."
Classic Western Psychedelia
email@example.com | West Allis, Wisconsin USA | 01/22/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This disc never should have taken so long to come out. A true classic of Western Psychedelia with Hammond organ not found on their later music. Old Chief, a song of the downtrodden but still had a friend to lift him up. All songs with a story and good instrumentation to back it up. Gravity talks, Deliverance, Alice, Cheap Wine, all songs I would have been poorer for having missed. Now with the final discs coming out I can RIP. Green On Red, Long Ryders, Dream Syndicate, Rain Parade, True West. True Friends, in music. I thank them all."
Classic Alternative Chestnut
Dave S. Owen | USA | 02/23/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I had entered the world of not trusting what the rock radio stations were telling me, or playing, at the time this album came out. When it did, I bought it and wore the grooves out.
Enter R.E.M., Camper Van Beethoven, and 100 Flowers and Rain Parade.
Gravity Talks fits well with any of those bands and then some.
To sample this album three songs stick out and hold up today: Abagail's Ghost, Narcolepsy, and Cheap Wine
Abagail's Ghost is a rocking garage sounding rampage of a tune!
Put it on any compilation party mix and it will please all.
The lyrics through out this album have smart thinking in them and really also hold up today...just like any pre-1970 Bob Dylan music.
This is a true alternative classic and a golden gem of an album to own in any alternative universe.