My Blue In Heaven LP
:: Sometimes ::
:: The Big Beat ::
:: It's Saturday ::
:: Julie Cries ::
Certain music reminds me of very distinct times in my life. Starbuck's "Moonlight Feels Right," specifically the bitchin' vibes solo, reminds me of going through the Toy National Bank drive-thru with my mom in grandpa's old New Yorker, and how I was fascinated by the way the little cannister would get sucked back and forth between our car and the teller behind the glass. Actually, I am still kind of fascinated by that. The sappy soul strains of Ambrosia's "Biggest Part of Me" remind me of the summer vacation before 5th grade, when my mom would leave me money for lunch when she left for work, and trying to purchase the cheapest thing possible at the Sunshine Market so that I'd still have enough left over to get a Dilly Bar at the Dairy Queen.
Anyway, Blue In Heaven's first LP, All The God's Men, reminds me of my sophomore year of high school. I went to boarding school, since I was such a bad boy, and since there are bad boys all over the world, we had students from all over the world. I discovered quite a few bands through the Thai kids (hi Kanokchai, Pong and Au!,) who had seemingly endless supplies of bootleg cassettes, chock full of 12" remixes and whatever else fit on them. It was on these that I heard my first Aztec Camera, Colourfield, Style Council, Smiths and Cure. I can't be totally sure that I first heard Blue In Heaven on one of those tapes, but I had to mention Thai bootleg cassettes at some point, and this seemed as good a time as any. The real point here is that I had a high-speed dubbed cassette of this album that I wore out during high school and beyond, and listening to it reminds me of a certain sunny spring afternoon on the parade field, yours truly decked out in ugly plaid madras shorts, hoping that Jennifer Hall couldn't tell I had totally popped a boner after I let her tackle and pin me to the ground. At some point, I couldn't stand it anymore and got this puppy on Ebay.
Hailing from Ireland, this band was sort of a minor player in the 80's new wave/modern rock scene. They probably opened for a lot of big names in the UK, and while I have the feeling they weren't very highly regarded, I sure love them. Many of the songs are bass-driven, and while I can certainly hear a lot of their influences, I think the combinations are interesting enough to overcome that. I definitely liked singer Shane O'Neill's sneered and sometimes sarcastic vocals, and sitting atop all the sinister guitar and bass drone, it was right up my alley. This album was produced by the late great Martin Hannett, a man behind the console on many a postpunk classic. I'm either giving you a lost gem that you wished you'd heard back then, or another band that exemplifies what you didn't like about the 80's, you decide.