Saturday, May 11, 2013

Th' Faith Healers - Lido (1992)

Th' Faith Healers were along with Stereolab and PJ Harvey one of the most prominent Too Pure landmark bands. Like Stereolab they also received notable influence from Germany's stellar 70s Krautrock scene, though unlike Stereolab, Th' Faith Healers were more along the raw veins of Can (especially Can) and Brainticket than from the minimalistic complexions of La Düsseldorf and Neu!. Even so the Healers' sound is still hard to classify since it ranges from noise rock to dream pop and from shoegaze to alternative rock, yet they are always exploring different territories in the wide spectrum that is rock songwriting. They never seem to conform to one specific style, one moment they can be totally tame and then another moment they're jamming off to some of the most viscerally overdriven riffs Too Pure has ever produced.

"Lido" was Th' Faith Healers first effort back in 1992 (though they were already collaborating with Too Pure back in 1991). Contrasting between down to earth alternative rock songs like the opener "This Time" and crude noise jams like "Hippy Hole" there is no doubt that Th' Faith Healers are ambitious and felt the need to make a name for themselves in the 90s' oh so changing tides of rock reforms.

"Don't Jones Me" is a classic starting out with calm swells of guitar lines followed by interluded outbursts of rage. While "Reptile Smile" is a surprisingly soothing dream pop ditty with charming vocals and jaunty drums that feel just as good as any great Pram song would. Back to their noisier outfit, Th's Faith Healers show tribute to one of their most remarkable influences: Can, by covering "Mother Sky" from 1970's Soundtracks and it is no surprise that they did an outstanding job at it by completely capturing the 14 minute jam's substance. The album's last two tracks are another example of their stylistic disparity with "It's Easy Being You" being a two minute pop carol and "Spin 1/2"being a grandiose nine minute noise jam. 

Th' Faith Healers' "Lido" is like a Stereolab album gone wild; a screaming Laetitia Sadier and an uncontrollable Tim Gane, and that is something I'm sure more than a few underground rock enthusiasts would be glad to experience. Also, Th' Faith Healers set a certain bar of influence to later indie rock bands like The Gerbils, The Music Tapes, and Komeda.

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