This is the fourth and final leg in our tour of I-Rails cassette albums, with the last stop culminating with Valentino Says, which is actually their first release (ironic, but not when you consider I've been presenting them in reverse order). I've already dedicated space to the three full lengths that followed-up Valentino Says (1987's Unfocused, '89s Nine Songs From Nowhere, and their 1990 parting shot Panharmonium). Being that the case, if you've already absorbed Unfocused, you might recognize two songs which actually debuted in different incarnations on Valentino, specifically "There Goes Another" and "Mercury Don't Understand."
My original expectation was that as I went backwards with the I-Rails discography, I would encounter a rawer, more savage aesthetic that the band would eventually curtail and fine tune on each subsequent release. If anything it was the opposite way around, with Valentino striking me as the most approachable of their four mini reel-to-reels. In fact, the bulk of this one inadvertently fortels the mid-tempo power pop tack that the Gin Blossoms would corner the market with in the early nineties. Song for song Valentino Says cuts the mustard, but the I-Rails would tilt in a grittier direction on their next three albums (and a 1988 7") to even more satisfying effect. Unfortunately I have no artwork to offer for this one, although from what I understand original copies did have a cassette sleeve. The audio quality on a couple tracks is slightly dodgy, but tolerable.
For a (slightly) more thorough backgrounder on the I-Rails, point your cursor to the hyperlinks in this article. A very hearty thanks to the gentlemen who digitized these tracks and sent them in my direction!
02. There Goes Another
03. Mercury Don't Understand
04. Oh God
05. The Man I Gave a Ride
06. Poets Wear Black
07. Waiting for the Sun
08. Let Me Go
09. I Thought You Were My Friend
10. Adventures in the Rain
Connells - Charlotte, NC 1991 - *1313 Club* *Charlotte, N.C.* *Feb. 17, 1991* *FM recording (sound quality VG++)* *01 Take a Bow* *02 Speak to Me* *03 Inside My Head* *04 I Suppose* *05 ...
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