5 July 2013

Soul Asylum - Grave Dancers Union

Some bands in certain territories around the world are one hit wonders.  In America, Bananarama are a one hit wonder, so are Oasis, Cranberries and Soft Cell - whilst in the UK they are a big deal.  Over here, Soul Asylum is known primarily for the song "Runaway Train" which features on this album.  This was their sixth release in the beginning of the 90's.  When it came out, no one cared until that single - after that, it was stardom for a brief 15 minutes of fame and after that they sort of disappeared from the UK scene.  They are still going in 2013, just releasing an album last year.  So looking back, how has this album aged, is it still a fine listen or is it akin to the sound of the night before which just sounds like a cat in a trash can?

Now I will admit, even though I have owned this album before, apart from the singles I did not pay much attention to it.  Just found what they were doing a little too easy to ignore.  It is not the most exciting music in the world if I am truly honest, but does it need to be?  Well, there is a curious thing on here - when they put their rockier songs on, I enjoy their sound a lot more - songs like "Black Gold", "Get On Out", the beautiful "Somebody To Shove" just hit the spot.  As a rock band, they are very much meat and tato's - ie, nothing you haven’t heard before, but still sometimes just what you need to hear. Take the song "April Fool" - yes it is not going to win awards for song of the year, even song of the day.  But I know if it came on at the right moment, it will be just as important as any other hard rock classic you will hear at any rock club you may head to at a weekend.

This album though has a sort of like a Jekyll and Hyde album. For each rock number, you have the heart felt ballad waiting to erupt and take over the album.  The biggest offender is "Runaway Train", but you also have "Homesick" and "New World" which just bring the overall mood of the album.  Yes, a fine written ballad has its place - but not every other song, it just makes the progress of the records disjointed.  I want to like this record more than I do, it has the fantastic "99%" which is a great piece of rock history for me, I think "Someone To Shove" is a great tune which deserves more praise.  But there is too much ballad nonsense to make this a great rock album. Too much cute and trying to slow it down, it just makes this a disappointment.  Shame really, it could have been so much better.

5 out of ten - It could have been a bit better

You can purchase from here

You can go to the official band website here 

You can visit the a really good fan ran site here

You can listen to the album on Spotify here

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