Sad Lovers & Giants - Feeding The Flame [2009 reissue] review

album cover for Sad Lovers & Giants - Feeding The Flame [2009 reissue] review
Article Date: 05-10-2009
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2009 expanded reissue of this classic '80s release. Not available on CD since 1988 and this reissue includes 4 bonus tracks that were not on the original vinyl. The CD also contains memorabilia and sleeve notes contributions from the original band members.

Sad Lovers & Giants are a post-punk band from Watford, England who formed in 1981. The original lineup produced two studio albums, Epic Garden Music and Feeding the Flame, before splitting in 1983. During this initial period they recorded a John Peel Session for the BBC and a live concert for the Dutch Radio Hilversum station, which was subsequently released as the album Total Sound. Live performances included headline dates at UK colleges and clubs with occasional trips to Europe, although they did support The Sound at the London Marquee venue on the day Epic Garden Music entered the UK independent charts. European interest in the band began to grow, and with the release of second album Feeding the Flame, they toured Germany and Holland, gaining a dedicated fanbase.

Artistically, Feeding the Flame is considered to be their finest work and hints at a potential that could have elevated them to the status of contemporaries such as The Chameleons, Cocteau Twins and Modern English. Tensions within the band caused a complete disintegration, however, with Garel-Funk and Pollard leaving to form The Snake Corps.Not much was heard for a while; their label Midnight Music released a "mopping up" album entitled In the Breeze, which included one of their previously unreleased signature tunes, "Three Lines". The deftly played and arresting post-punk songs are built around Tristan Garel-Funk and David Woods' subtle evocations of mood. Singer Garce Allard's voice is at once brittle-sounding but self-assured. Both factors complement the sophisticated musical structures of songs such as "Imagination" and "Sleep (Is for Everyone)."

They should be one of their generation's more celebrated discoveries, but sat out time on a label much less fashionable than, say, Factory. The intricacy of Garel-Funk's guitar on "Big Tracks Little Tracks" certainly puts them on a par with the Durutti Column. "Your Skin and Mine" has an innate grandeur that, keeping indulgence at arm's length, conveys a sense of pain and isolation that echoes Joy Division. It's an album that argues for a reappraisal of one of the '80s' best-kept secrets.

Article Copyright: Red Sun Records

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