So there I was back in 1990 at Jumbo Records in Leeds, talking nonchalantly to the girl behind the counter who I had a massive crush on. Well I say ‘talking’, mumbling awestruck half sentences might be rather more accurate, hoping that she’d see the pouting Sex God* that lurked within my Paisley shirt. Anyway, she mentioned that there was a new one in that sounded a bit like (my beloved) Jane’s Addiction, when I stammered out ‘Christ, though, look at the state of them’ at the sight of the chaps on the back cover, she simply responded by showing me the vinyl.
Hormones and multi-coloured vinyl** it was a heady combination, which led of course to an immediate purchase.
I’ve played Liquid Jesus Live, maybe for the third time tonight and I can’t see me doing it again any time soon. In fact would it surprise you to learn that, normally fastidious me, had the LP on my wall as a cool decoration^ in my cool bachelor pad a couple of years after I bought it?
I’m not saying Live is awful, or unlistenable, it’s a well-mixed LP that is pleasingly loud and bass-y at times, if a bit lacking in good tunes. There are touches of funk metal here and there and an audacious lyrical steal from Pink Floyd’s ‘Outside The Wall’. It’s just average. You know the phenomenon I’m sure, a good band make their pitch and end up playing the ‘current’ sound of the time, at this point in L.A they were skanking and skulking around the same seedy underbelly as Jane’s A, or trying to^^. A few years later they’d have been Hammerbox, a couple of years previous they’d have been the Bulletboys – nothing awful, a good tune or two, but just lacking a touch of inspiration.
But I’m not a negative creep, so let’s be positive about Liquid Jesus Live: I quite the acoustic-y, quirky ‘Susan’s Call’^* and the vinyl really, really is sweet. Let’s face it, like I always say, these guys did it, they made an LP and I’m just a lard-assed loser who hasn’t yet, they win.
Not that buying this LP ever got me a second glance from HER. Damn.
PS: When I read this brilliant Onion feature, hundreds of years ago, I recognised myself in it completely in relation to Liquid Jesus – don’t tell me you don’t too!
*it didn’t look right without capital letters.
**much rarer then, than now.
^I fondly hoped such sophistication would make a really average LP into a Grade-A chick magnet, its’ powers on that front remain to this very day, sadly, untested.
^^incidentally, why are underbellies always seedy? why can’t they just be decrepit, or desolate occasionally? or maybe, once in a while, sumptuous or fetching? just a thought.
^*no relation to ‘Jane Says’ obviously.