Music Review: DANIEL AMOS – Doppelganger

Leave a comment

daniel amos doppelgangerDANIEL AMOS
Doppelganger
Alarma Records
1983

Daniel Amos’ fifth release continues the overall Alarma Chronicles concept, something that I still have no idea what the story itself entails. But, at least the second part itself, Doppelganger, is a rather good entry in the series. Also, it’s a great classic New Wave record in its own right, methinks.

Having a bit of a darker tone than that of the previous release, Doppelganger nonetheless manages to maintain the high quality musicianship and writing, putting out a very detailed and multi-textured album, filled with some of the best writing going as well as showcasing the bent sense of humor the band was famous for. If that wasn’t evident by the album cover–a slightly unsettling monochrome image of a mannequin–then you’re not paying attention.

The album itself kicks off with a brief yet mind-twisting intro “Hollow Man”, played backwards with spoken words and an avant-garde bent, which leads into the first proper cut of the album, “Mall (All Over The World)”, which is an infectious and dark New Wave cut with a funky bass hook that will get into your head like none other, there. “Real Girls”, “Memory Lane”, and “I Didn’t Build It For Me” feature that kind of New Wave style, yes; but like with their previous releases, the band branched off into other styles while keeping things unmistakably their own: “New Car!” has a cool rockabilly style, almost psycho-billy in a way before that became a thing; “Do Big Boys Cry?” isn’t necessarily a ballad, but it comes close; “Youth With A Machine” and “Little Crosses” are guitar-driven with some good hooks, while “The Double” and “Angels Tuck You In” are more janglepop, with the later having a classic Elvis Costello vibe to it. “Distance And Direction” has a Caribbean vibe to it that reminds me of another song from that time, the title of which escapes me greatly; “Autographs For The Sick” is another avant-garde tongue-in-cheek spoken word bit over ambient played music; the final song, “Here I Am”, has a very Beatles-esque somber-brite quality that just burrows down into your brain and will have you whistling it absently long after the record ends on the second part of the “Hollow Man” intro.

So, as I’m coming to understand the further I look into the Daniel Amos discography, you can’t just casually throw on a Daniel Amos record in the background and leave it; Doppelganger as an ablum begs to be listened to, closely, to take in the various textures and layers and lyrical play melded together into a whole. The production is fantastic, and you can tell a lot of time and careful crafting went into the making of this. I’m just now beginning to realize why the band ranks so high on everyone’s list of influential Christian bands. This release comes highly recommended.

Uncle NecRo’s TOP 100 CHRISTIAN ALBUMS FROM THE 1990s, Part 4: 40-21

Leave a comment

Hey hey, it’s Part 4 of this list! Hope I’m not giving anyone any antacid flasbacks with this. Anyway, here’s the next 20 in the list:

stavesacre-friction40 – Friction (Stavesacre)
…I remember someone from the church I was attending at the time giving me this CD, stating that it wasn’t Christian enough for him. So, it was good enough for me, is what you’re saying?

mortal-lusis39 – Lusis (Mortal)
…I remember having a friend in college play me this album, and then telling me to close my mouth as I was attracting flies. Behold my first taste of industrial music.

zao-all-else-failed38 – All Else Failed [1996 Steadfast version] (Zao)
…yes, I happen to be one of those people who prefer the pre-Solid State Zao release to their later output. This just seems more raw, more ferocious.

deliverance-learn37 – Learn (Deliverance)
…dark, introspective, and given to fits of artistic brilliance. That album cover, though. Needs to be re-released with artwork befitting the music.

mortal-fathom36 – Fathom (Mortal)
…while Lusis was groundbreaking, this second release of theirs was darker, heavier and much more diverse. The video to “Rift” still haunts me.

living-sacrifice-living-sacrifice35 – Living Sacrifice (Living Sacrifice)
…Deliverance may have been the Metallica rip-off, but the first release by Living Sacrifice was definitely the Slayer rip-off we all needed.

vengeance-rising-released-upon-the-earth34 – Released Upon The Earth (Vengeance Rising)
…it may have been made under very tumultuous circumstances, but this one is still a pretty good thrash/death release. Upon the Earth. Sorry, couldn’t resist.

klank-1999-numb33 – Numb (Klank)
…I know what you’re thinking. “Hey, this was released in 2000! This doesn’t count!” And you’d be right…for the re-release on some label that stiffed him and thus shall not be named. My copy was the 1999 version on Klank’s own SmokeDogg Productions, purchased at the band’s merch table at Cornerstone 1999. Hah.

mortification-post-momentary-affliction32 – Post Momentary Affliction (Mortification)
…my third-favorite Mortification album, a bit more progressive death metal style. And the last death metal album Mortification would release.

tourniquet-stop-the-bleeding31 – Stop The Bleeding (Tourniquet)
…blistering speed metal with a vocalist that could give King Diamond a run for his money. Mmmmm.

crimson-thorn-dissection30 – Dissection (Crimson Thorn)
…thick, heavy, innards-congealing DEATH METAL. That’s all you need to know. That, and their cover of Stryper’s “Loud N’ Clear”. It’s awesome.

living-sacrifice-inhabit29 – Inhabit (Living Sacrifice)
…third release from Living Sacrifice, and it’s a nice blend of thrash and death metal. The only complaint I have is that it’s too short, really. Also, the last to feature DJ on the vocals, and a switch to a Sepultura-inspired metalcore sound.

deliverance-stay-of-execution28 – Stay Of Execution (Deliverance)
…I remember getting this when it was first released in the late summer of 1992; I listened to the cassette so many times, it wore out within the year. Sure, it wasn’t speed metal; it was fantastic dark heavy metal.

argyle-park-misguided27 – Misguided (Argyle Park)
…another one I got from that guy who gave me the aforementioned Stavesacre CD, for the same reason. His loss. Sometimes knowing that one holier-than-thou person pays off.

tourniquet-psycho-surgery26 – Psycho Surgery (Tourniquet)
…many consider this release to be the bestest Tourniquet release, like, evah. They are wrong. But, it’s still a really good collection of technical thrash metal. Second best, easily.

bride-snakes-in-the-playground25 – Snakes In The Playground (Bride)
…my first introduction to the band that is Bride, and it was this particular one that took the gritty heaviness of Gn’R’s Appetite For Destruction and gave it a nice Southern glaze.

the-pillars-of-humanity24 – The Pillars Of Humanity (The Crucified)
…crossover thrash classic. Recently remastered and re-released with much better album artwork.

believer-sanity-obscure23 – Sanity Obscure (Believer)
…complex technical thrash metal that still rips it up after all this time.

vengeance-rising-once-dead22 – Once Dead (Vengeance Rising)
…quite a bit more honed than the debut, but still some tasty raw thrash metal here. Great cover of Deep Purple’s “Space Truckin'”, too.

deliverance-weapons-of-our-warfare21 – Weapons Of Our Warfare (Deliverance)
…this is the one everybody says is the ultimate classic Deliverance release. I disagree with it being the best of their releases, but it is a fantastic speed metal album.

::END TRANSMISSION::

Uncle NecRo’s TOP 100 CHRISTIAN ALBUMS FROM THE 1990s, Part 3: 60-41

Leave a comment

Part Three of this list of Top 100 Christian Albums Released In The 90s. Continuing on, then:

deliverance-river-disturbance60 – River Disturbance (Deliverance)
…in an interview with Deliverance main man Jimmy P. Brown on a podcast, he mentioned that, after he recorded this particular album, producer/artist extraordinaire Terry Taylor told him he just recorded his Rubber Soul. Sure, why not.

saviour-machine-saviour-machine-ii59 – Saviour Machine II (Saviour Machine)
…basically a continuation of the first album, only more orchestral and grander in scope. Eric Clayton sounding as pretentious as ever.

bride-scarecrow-messiah58 – Scarecrow Messiah (Bride)
…I remember this being some great hard rock. Others remember this as the album where Dale Thompson cut his hair. Good grief, people.

disciple-this-might-sting-a-little57 – This Might Sting A Little (Disciple)
…before they transformed into another modern rock band indistinguishable from the others, Disciple played hard and heavy southern fried rock and metal, and this one here was the best of the bunch.

dead-artist-syndrome-prints-of-darkness56 – Prints Of Darkness (Dead Artist Syndrome)
…my favorite of all the DAS releases, as it’s also the darkest one going. Helped me through some really dark times. On my Existential Meltdown playlist.

detritus-if-but-for-one55 – If But For One (Detritus)
…second and last release by the U. K. heavy metal group. Even in the early 1990s, you had to import the good stuff.

mortification-1995-primitive-rhythm-machine54 – Primitive Rythm Machine (Mortification)
…essentially “Steve Rowe & Friends”, this one was tuned to a brighter Standard E, but still retained the heavy.

saviour-machine-saviour-machine53 – Saviour Machine (Saviour Machine)
…not the first Gothic rock album in the Christian market, but definitely the first time I was amused by the CCM industry lose their collective do-do over this oddball group. The album is pretty good, too.

ethereal-scourge-judgement-and-restoration52 – Judgment & Restoration (Ethereal Scourge)
…this could very well be the first death metal praise & worship album I’ve come across. Pity there was only this one full-length release.

deliverance-camelot-in-smithereens51 – Camelot-In-Smithereens (Deliverance)
…bit more metal than the previous release, a lot more somber, and the last Deliverance album we got until the new Millennium.

minier50 – Minier (Greg Minier)
…great crossover thrash from the guitarist for The Crucified.

detritus-perpetual-defiance49 – Perpetual Defiance (Detritus)
…a woefully underrated thrashy metal album from the U. K. Also, the production doesn’t do this justice.

circle-of-dust-circle-of-dust48 – Circle Of Dust (Circle Of Dust)
…the first release by the second industrial band I discovered. This was remixed and re-released in 1995. Either way, it was groundbreaking for its time.

mortification-1994-blood-world47 – Blood World (Mortification)
…even when toning down the death metal influence and adopting more of a groove and less growled vocals, this was still heavier than anything else that was being released then.

strongarm-atonement46 – Atonement (Strongarm)
…really good hardcore album.

zao-where-blood-and-fire-bring-rest45 – Where Blood And Fire Bring Rest (Zao)
…at a time when actual good metal was sparse, we had to make due with the metalcore that was beginning to come out. This was one of the least painful.

deracination-times-of-atrocity44 – Times Of Atrocity (Deracination)
…why these guys didn’t get as big as fellow Aussies Mortification is beyond me. The “Atrocity” referenced in the title has to be the really low production, otherwise this would have been a rafters-shaking classic death metal release.

metanoia-in-darkness-or-in-light43 – In Darkness Or In Light (Metanoia)
…some some really good death metal from the Land of Down Under that isn’t named Mortification.

zao-liberate-te-ex-inferis42 – Liberate Te Ex Inferis (Zao)
…one of the more tolerable of the early metalcore releases in my collection. Also, Event Horizon reference.

strongarm-the-advent-of-a-miracle41 – Advent Of A Miracle (Strongarm)
…pretty decent hardcore album. Again, it’s what we had to subside on until the bookstores and record shops started carrying metal again.

::END TRANSMISSION::

Uncle NecRo’s TOP 100 CHRISTIAN ALBUMS FROM THE 90s, Part 2 (80-61)

1 Comment

Hey everybody, I’m back now with Part 2 of the Top 100 Christian Albums from the 1990s. If you missed it, Part 1 is right here. Now, without further adeu, here are picks numbers 80 through 61:

chagall-guevara80 – Chagall Guevara (Chagall Guevara)
…that one time that Steve Taylor fronted an actual band that was pretty good, but nobody noticed because it was 1991 and they weren’t from Seattle. Bummer, that.

77s-pray-naked79 – Pray Naked (The 77s)
…as alternative music goes, this one’s pretty good, but let’s face it: any band that can make the American Evangelical communities flip their collective lids over a title that encourages the listener to come before God with no pretensions, transparent and vulnerable has a place in my collection, regardless of the genre.

aunt-bettys-aunt-bettys78 – Aunt Bettys (Aunt Bettys)
…speaking of artists that consistently manages to piss off the American Christian subculture without even trying to do so, I present you Michael Knott’s woefully underrated side project, Aunt Bettys. ‘Nuff said.

scaterd-few-sin-disease77 – Sin Disease (Scaterd-Few)
…sorry to say that I was a bit late in the game in appreciating this particular album. It’s a classic, yes, and one of those albums that was controversial for many reasons, but mostly because they weren’t safe like certain other so-called “Christian punk” bands at the time. Incidentally, “Kill The Sarx” is where I got the inspiration for my online persona, The NecRoSarX. Now you know.

holy-soldier-last-train76 – Last Train (Holy Soldier)
…a bit more bluesy, quite a bit more mature than the first released. Kind of like Cinderella’s second release after Night Songs. You get the idea. I hope.

fear-not-fear-not75 – Fear Not (Fear Not)
…what is essentially the former Blonde Vinyl band Love Life, given the ol’ Elefante slick production makeover. Big, bombastic 80s hair rock, and a guilty pleasure indeed.

scaterd-few-jawboneofanass74 – Jawbonofanass (Scaterd-Few)
…this may seem like blasphemy, but I actually prefer Jawboneofanass over Sin Disease. I don’t know why, other than it flows a bit better, maybe? Is that pretentious-sounding enough?

deitiphobia-clean73 – Clean (Deitiphobia)
…contrary to popular belief, there was an underground contingent of Christians producing industrial back in the 1980s, but they mostly didn’t get noticed until around the time Trent Reznor showed up. Or something like that. Anyway, this is a good album.

dead-artist-syndrome-devils-angels-saints72 – Devils, Angels & Saints (Dead Artist Syndrome)
…”gothic rock”, “post-punk”, “gloom rock”, whatever, sometimes you gotta throw this one on with the lights off and stare at the wall.

bride-drop71 – Drop (Bride)
…stylistically different than the previous two heavier releases, more of a throwback to the Kinetic Faith release yet more mature than that one.

dig-hay-zoose-magentamantalovetree70 – MagentaMantaLoveTree (Dig Hay Zoose)
…released back when the word “Alternative” was thrown around like a brand name, this release saw Dig Hay Zoose as the spiritual successors to scaterd-few. Too bad it was to be their final studio release.

deitiphobia-lo-fi-vs-sci-fi69 – Lo:Fi Vs. Sci:Fi (Deitiphobia)
…a electronic industrial sci-fi concept album. Enough said.

lsu-this-is-the-healing68 – This Is The Healing (L. S. U.)
…dark, introspective, with an underlying twisted sense of humor. Probably one of the first instances of discovering it was okay not to be a shiny-happy Christian.

dead-artist-syndrome-happy-hour67 – Happy Hour (Dead Artist Syndrome)
…this was sold in Christian bookstores. It started with a song called “Young Sexy & Dead” (sure, it was listed as “Y.S.D” on the CD, but still), and has another song referencing the Church body as a psychotic knife-wielding back-stabber. That’s called “irony”, folks. Delicious irony.

bride-kinetic-faith66 – Kinetic Faith (Bride)
…hard rock with a southern twinge, and a total 180 from the hair metal they played previously.

zao-the-splinter-shards-the-birth-of-separation65 – The Splinter Shards The Birth Of Separation (Zao)
…at the time of this release, good quality metal was hard to come by, especially in the so-called Christian market. This had to due until some came around.

crashdog-cashists-facists-other-fungus64 – Cashists, Fascists, & Other Fungus (Crashdog)
…one of my favorite punk albums, it has all the hallmarks: raw, crusty, and probably the first instance of outspoken Christians protesting the G. O. P.

12th-tribe-livin-in-babylon63 – Livin’ In Babylon (12th Tribe)
…Run DMC style rapping paired with some metal riffs provided by Jimmy P. Brown of Deliverance? Yes, please.

index62 – Blood (Red Sea)
…a collaboration between the guitarist from Fear Not and the vocalist from Die Happy, and it’s a monster of a bluesy metal rock album.

wedding-party-anthms61 – Anthems (Wedding Party)
…basically Saviour Machine with all the beautiful richness without all the unnecessary pretentiousness. And a better singer.

Uncle NecRo’s TOP 100 CHRISTIAN ALBUMS FROM THE 1990s, Part 1: 100-81

2 Comments

So, some time ago, I came across a bunch of lists that the members of one of the Facebook Pages that I am a member of were doing. Namely, they were listing their top 100 favorite albums by Christian bands and artists that were released in the 1990s. I thought I would go ahead and write out my own list; the thing was, I was also in the middle of organizing and uploading the posts for the entirety of October, all of the Halloween’ing articles, and put the list on the back-burner to focus on getting all of that taken care of. I went back to it, and…well, I decided to not post it in the group itself, but instead share the outcome with everyone, along with some blurbs on the ones I picked.

Before I share, I want to point out that I had a couple of ground rules: 1) no live albums, and 2) no greatest hits type albums. Also, this list developed from the top down, as I thought of them, with very little messing with the final lineup. This is all as they came to me, so they’re in no particular order per se. So, now, without further adieu, here is my list:

carman-addicted-to-jesus100 – Addicted To Jesus (Carman)
…yes, I actually owned this one, way back in the day. It still remains a bit of a guilty pleasure, really. Especially with “Satan, Bite The Dust” on here. Pure, delicious sanctified cheese.

petra-beyond-belief99 – Beyond Belief (Petra)
…’tis the only 90s-era release of Petra’s that I don’t find myself flinching at too much while listening to. Also, that riff on “Seen And Not Heard” that everyone knew was a rip-off of the riff from the KISS song “Heaven’s On Fire” but couldn’t admit to in public circles because that would be admitting to knowing what a KISS song is.

adventures-of-the-o-c-supertones98 – Adventures Of The O. C. Supertones (The O. C. Supertones)
…there was a brief time in the mid-1990s where everyone claimed to like ska. Well, the so-called “third wave” ska that seemed to pop up like a rash after using the public pool. I’m afraid this wormed its way into my collection due to peer pressure. This album is the equivalent of that one person you know that tries so very hard to get you to be as bubbly happy as they are, you can’t help but want to kick puppies into traffic. Good production, though.

dc-talk-jesus-freak97 – Jesus Freak (DC Talk)
…there was also a time in the 1990s where there was a list of albums you needed to own, otherwise your sincerity of claiming to be a Christian was called into question. This was one of those albums. The thing is…this still holds up.

bloodgood-all-stand-together96 – All Stand Together (Bloodgood)
…it’s a pity that the majority of the good Bloodgood albums were released in the 1980s, because they needed to at least be represented. This particular album, unfortunately, is not that great. But, it’s on here in hopes to get someone to check out their previous releases before this one.

third-day-third-day95 – Third Day (Third Day)
…remember what I said about Jesus Freak being one of those albums you needed to have in your possession to justify your Christian existence? This was also one of these albums. That’s all I’m gonna say about this.

miss-angie-100-million-eyeballs94 – 100 Million Eyeballs (Miss Angie)
…would you believe I got this after seeing the video she did for “Lift”, because I developed a bit of a fanboy crush on her voice and style. The album is pretty good, too, kind of a Veruca Salt vibe to it.

grammatrain-lonely-house-cover93 – Lonely House (Grammatrain)
…one of the actual decent releases from the glut of Grunge music that came out two years after Grunge died out in the mainstream. That’s the usual gestration period for a genre to be co-opted by the CCM market.

mike-knott-strip-cycle92 – Strip Cycle (Michael Knott)
…I like to pop this one on after someone claims they only listen to acoustic singer-songwriter music. Nine times out of ten, their heads explode. I also like to que up “Rock Stars On H” when the youth group is stuck inside the NEKRON 7 with me just to hear the uncomfortable silence.

galactic-cowboys-space-in-your-face91 – Space In Your Face (Galactic Cowboys)
…look, I agree that this should be quite a bit higher, had this been an actual ranking-of-the-worst-to-best list, but as I mentioned in the intro (in case you skipped it directly to the list, like I usually do with posts like these), this was thrown together as they came to mind. And this is my favorite of the Galactic Cowboys discography.

swirling-eddies-sacred-cows90 – Sacred Cows (The Swirling Eddies)
…finally. Proper renditions of Christian favorites. This has the superior version of “Satan, Bite The Dust”. Sorry, Carman.

steve-taylor-squint89 – Squint (Steve Taylor)
…this is a classic. You need to own this, if you don’t. Period. Yeah, I realize I would say this to all of Steve Taylor’s output, but this was the only one of his solo albums released in the 1990s. So, there you go.

crashdog-the-pursuit-of-happiness88 – The Pursuit Of Happiness (Crashdog)
…released at a time when punk was still underground and yet to be made into a joke, this release is legit.

tourniquet-microscopic-view-of-a-telescopic-realm87 – Microscopic View Of A Telescopic Realm (Tourniquet)
…Ted Kirkpatric’s “Tourniquet” goes back to playing “metal”, and the result is adorable. Eh, still better than Crawl To China.

kings-x-dogman86 – Dogman (King’s X)
…very raw, very dark and very angry. My favorite King’s X release. You know, whenever I’m in that kind of mood.

way-sect-bloom-effloresce85 – EfFLoReScE (The Way Sect Bloom)
…something I came across while first exploring the industrial and Gothic side of Christianity. Produced by Celldweller, released on Flaming Fish, and one of the more interesting electronic industrial releases I came across.

scaterd-few-grandmother-spaceship84 – Grandmother’s Spaceship (Scaterd-Few)
…the legendary scaterd-few’s third full-length release I don’t really listen to as much as the first two releases, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s something to overlook, here.

tourniquet-vanishing-lessons83 – Vanishing Lessons (Tourniquet)
…Tourniquet back when they still had a few members of the classic lineup left, plus a new singer and a streamlined sound. Eh, still better than Crawl To China.

holy-soldier-holy-soldier82 – Holy Solider (Holy Soldier)
…some say this self-titled released by Holy Soldier is better than their sophomore release. I disagree. Still a good album.

dig-hey-zoose-strugglefish81 – Struggle Fish (Dig Hay Zoose)
…while I grant that Dig Hay Zoose actually tried to do something unique with their music, rather than just aping a style, this is a delicious hot mess when compared to their second album.

::END TRANSMISSION::

Music Review: AUNT BETTYS – Aunt Bettys

Leave a comment

Music Review: AUNT BETTYS - Aunt Bettys

AUNT BETTYS
Aunt Bettys
EastWest Records
1996

Back in 1993, musician / artist Michael Knott, the mastermind behind the highly influential new wave turned alt. rock band L. S. Underground, as well as being a versatile musical renaissance man with his solo albums and various other band projects, created a “general market rock back” called Aunt Bettys Ford. I engage the quotes there, because it was taken from Mike Knott’s Wikipedia entry, and that was used to describe the sound of the band. Mind you, back in the early- to mid-1990s, radio was dominated by alternative music, which made it ubiquitously mainstream, which then lead to the most ironic genre label of the time with “mainstream alternative”. It was a wacky time to be alive, let me tell you.

Anyway, after a bit of a publicized label bidding war which saw the Electra label winning, the self-titled debut release was put out on Electra imprint EastWest Records in 1996 to high critical acclaim…but since it wasn’t promoted properly, it kind of went the way of a wet fart while walking down the street: hardly anyone noticed, and it disappeared fast enough for anyone to care. Which is a pity, as this release really is a hidden gem amongst the glut of modern rock that was being foisted upon our earholes back then.

This might come as a surprise to those who only know me as the die-hard \,,/METAL\,,/head, but I know good music when I hear it, and for me to say that I think that Aunt Bettys Ford is a good, solid collection of rock in the alternative vein shouldn’t be very shocking.

If there’s one thing Michael Knott knows how to do, it’s writing a good guitar-driven rock tune with very smart lyrics and catchy hooks, and imbuing the songs with a unique personality. The album starts off solid with the track “Jesus”, which blends together the use of acoustic and electric guitars rather well, and snags us with the hookiest hook and keeps us through most of the album. Nearly every song on here is a good one, from the giggle-inducing “Mother Trucker”, to the redux of Knott’s previous solo tune “Rocket And A Bomb”, to the rollicking closer “Rock And Roll” (not a Led Zepplin cover, in case you’re wondering). There’s maybe two songs that I wasn’t too impressed with; “Jane”, which wasn’t bad, but just didn’t do it for me, and “Double” which is a WGWAG cut with some interesting percussion touches.

Overall, though, Aunt Bettys is a good solid rock n’ roll album from one of the more criminally underrated artists in music, Christian, mainstream or otherwise. Recommended.

Music Review: UNDERCOVER – Balance Of Power

Leave a comment

undercover - balance of power

UNDERCOVER
Balance Of Power
Broken
1990

I understand that, for many old school Christian punk fans out there, they remember Undercover as that California surf punk band with a thin New Wave shellac, and album and song titles that can double as nifty bumper sticker slogans. For me, though, my first exposure to the band known as Undercover was by way of the song “World Come Crashing Down” that was included on the Ultimate Metal 2 compilation that Star Song Records put out around that time. It wasn’t too bad…though calling it “metal” seemed a bit of a stretch. Of course, I had no knowledge of the band at the time, and didn’t really start seeking out their discography and history until some time later.

Balance Of Power was the album that was released after 1986’s Branded, which many consider the transition album that saw Undercover segue from a happy New Wave-y punk band to a darker, more introverted post punk alternative band, much like The Cult. Balance Of Power continued on in that darker path, resulting in an album that is dark, moody and probably the heaviest they released thus far.

The music on Balance Of Power is dark, heavy and…quite frankly, fantastic. It’s brooding, crammed with great guitar riffs with the perfect type of vocals that complement the introspectively dark lyrics. Front to back, I found Balance Of Power pretty solid, some massive comparisons to The Cult when it comes to describing this type of Gothic-style hard rock.

It’s been said that Ojo Taylor considers Balance Of Power his least favorite Undercover album. Maybe it was due to the circumstances happening that resulted in the darker vibe and writing, I don’t know. I have to say, personally, that Balance Of Power ranks as one of my favorite darker works, and joins the likes of L. S. U. and Dead Artist Syndrome when I get in the kind of a mood. Which is frequent, in case you’re wondering. Recommended.

Older Entries