Live - Soul Asylum Show Flashes Of Brilliance At The Bowery





Those of us that know the pre-superstardom Soul Asylum as the one that initially formed under the moniker Loud Fast Rules and released a bunch of records on Twin-Tone (the first two produced by Mr. Bob Mould), will always be a bit interested in what this Minneapolis band will do next. Not having released a record since 1998's ignored Candy From A Stranger and surviving founding member Karl Mueller's death in June of 2005, one couldn't help but wonder what type of band we would see at a scattering of small club dates over the last couple of weeks. With Replacements bassist Tommy Stinson in the new lineup, I almost expected a more aggressive version....a bit more fuzzy power-punk and less....."Runaway Train?" Well what we got was somewhere in the middle I suppose. Front man Dave Pirner was shorn of much of his Winona-era hair and Stinson looked like he could be playing a Mats gig in 1983, which worked well because even during the slower, '90s material, Stinson's jumps and general stage demeanor gave the gig a bit of an edge. In fact when the band launched into "Cartoon" off of 1988's excellent Hang Time album (this writers all-time favorite SA tune) it was pulled off with just the right combination of poignancy and adrenalized power. Unfortunately, it wasn't all good....the new stuff suffered from a bit of forced melodrama and came off, like Pirner at times, a bit insincere. However, the key elements for a bit of a comeback are here. A certain humility radiated from the band, and it was all a bit ragged in just the right way. These guys can write amazing songs, provided they shun the glossy pop tendencies in favor of the Americana-tinged raggedly-melodic rock that shines through on songs like "Somebody to Shove", "Black Gold", and "Sometime to Return" (sadly not played). With a new album coming in 2006 it will soon become apparent which Soul Asylum will rear it's head.




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Live - Soul Asylum Show Flashes Of Brilliance At The Bowery