Reviewed by Dougie Adam
The first time I tried to review this album I spent nearly six pages discussing the lyrics to what is clearly another major work in the making and perhaps Larry's deepest, most articulate album ever. This is shaping up to be even more hard hitting than 'Only Visiting This Planet' or 'Stranded In Babylon'. Here's the headlines. 'Tourniquet' has nine tracks and all of them are brand new recordings although many of the songs have been heard before on limited edition releases like 'Father Touch', 'The Vineyard', 'Breathe In, Breathe Out'. The last track "Near" has no vocal on it at the moment - if you want to hear how the lyrics and melody sound then check out 'Rough Diamonds, Precious Jewels' where the song is one of the highlights in an awesome live compilation. At the moment 'Tourniquet' is, and I quote, a "rough mix test pressing of songs being considered for 'Behind The Curtain'," an album which Larry hopes to complete this year and have distributed by a major label rather than his own Solid Rock Records company. The songs have been recorded utilising new internet technology with his brother Charles' latest band Softcore. This is the sister album to 1991's weighty and acclaimed 'Stranded In Babylon' and shares the same heavily layered production style with Larry and Charly at the helm again though at this stage it seems that Charly's fingerprints are the heavier ones in shaping the sound. As a result we end up with a very cool, calculating sound, well engineered and cleverly mixed. The late Jon Linn's introduction to "The Rock That Doesn't Roll" even finds itself chopped up and sampled and dropped into "Rock The Flock". The downside is that sometimes as the album progresses you yearn for a bit more variety in the tempos and instruments though all in all the drum machines, grungy electric guitars and quirky keyboards sound good on most tracks. In one or two places the sound of a picked acoustic would be welcome or a piano led arrangement might break things up nicely too, but hey, I'm nitpicking here. The storming opening track "Turn" was penned entirely by Charly and he shares co-writing credits on two other songs. I can't really begin to hint at the depth in the lyrics, several key themes are woven through all the songs and this collection of songs not only cross reference with each other but also with many of the best written songs in the extensive back catalogue. Essential questions prepare the ground for the album's main themes: "Will this generation last or will we burn?", "How can we live on a planet we've killed?", "Does anybody know what love is?", "When Jesus asks you if you've fed the poor what are you going to say?" I could go on and on. Well worth getting hold of a copy while they are still available and working through those lyrics for yourself.
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