The Prayer Chain - Mercury

Thursday 1st June 1995
The Prayer Chain - Mercury
The Prayer Chain - Mercury

RATING 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 82781-15781
LABEL: Rode Dog

Reviewed by Andy Long

By my reckoning the third record label release from California's Prayer Chain indicates a surprising and heartening step into the more experimental vistas of alternative rock. The album opens with "Humb", a gritty, feedback entrenched scrawl of music curiously married to a lyric from Psalm 136. Feedback and droning hypnotic rhythms create the tense atmosphere of the whole album. The lyrics are, as ever, obscure: "Soothe me at the yucca's feet/Taste the sweet of salt and sand," implores "Sky High", although I find this school of writing far preferable artistically to the "I just really want to praise him" school. Musically, the album is versatile enough to hold the listener's attention, the previously mentioned wall of feedback is interspersed with mellower moments of sparse bass hooks and muted guitar. The song "Shiver" is a disturbingly honest portrayal of man's inability to forgive himself for past sin of which he knows Christ has cleansed him. It's disturbing because it's a feeling we all know but are reluctant to discuss. "Shiver" has an underlying rhythm that is strangely addictive and reminiscent of U2 in one of their darker moods. A disturbing, at times almost avant guarde, album not for the weak hearted.

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