Here it is, the vintage, debut wax from perhaps the most maelstrom-friendly co-ed band to ever grace the face of the earth, Band of Susans. Recorded before their most renown member, Page Hamilton was part of the lineup, and just as notably, when there was no less than three “Susans” (surnames and roles: Stenger on bass/vocals, Tallman on guitars, and Lyall on guitars/vocals) fleshing out 3/6 of the ranks, the Blessing and Curse ep is so far as I can tell the only B of S recording not to get a digital release (however a portion of the tracks did appear on the group’s double CD anthology, Wired for Sound). Based in New York, the Susans opted out of the prevailing and often embarrassing trends of the era, and instead elected to pursue the amped-out six-string swath laid out by such across-the-pond acts as Killing Joke and Red Lorry Yellow Lorry. The bristling yet sweetly dissonant “Hope Against Hope,” and “Sometimes,” pack plenty of firepower here, but would be doubly outdone on the scorching Love Agenda and The Word and the Flesh albums that would follow. Brilliant. On a more trivial note, there’s an alternate jacket for Blessing, specifically a guitar gracing a plain white background. I believe my copy of the sleeve is the original, and in my opinion, less flattering incarnation.
01. Hope Against Hope
02. You Were an Optimist
04. Where Have All the Flowers Gone
3AM Eternal: The Clientele “Monday’s Rain” (1999) - A dreamy b-side still evokes powerful memories to yours truly.
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