Friday, July 27, 2018

Leaving Trains - Well Down Blue Highway (1984, Bemisbrain/Enigma)

Had a request for this one.  Personally, I was never very motivated to sling myself onto the caboose of the Leaving Trains, but I know how endearing they were to the droves who were more than content to depart the station with them.  This was their first album, released a couple years prior to their stint with SST.  I've heard bits and pieces of those subsequent records, but Well Down Blue Highway might be the first I've encountered wall-to-wall.  And I'm definitely down for some of it, 'specially the more rompin,'  rockin' forays like "She Knows the Rain" and "Virginia City."  There's some sweet psych flourishes on "Always Between Wars" too.  I've been informed that ...Highway's follow-up, Kill Tunes, was their utmost achievement.  Here's what the boys at Trouser Press had to say.

That said, the Los Angeles band's debut, Well Down Blue Highway (co-produced by Rain Parader David Roback and featuring a guest drummer from Gun Club and a keyboard player from Green on Red) is actually the picture of restraint: James' quietly desperate delivery suits subtly seething songs like "Creeping Coastline of Lights" and "I Am in a World Crash With You" marvelously, and when the clock registers rage-time, guitarist Manfred Hofer responds with some totally wired riffing. Kill Tunes sacrifices some of that reserve in favor of an old-school pub-punk approach that will remind some of the Saints (whose "Private Affair" gets a lusty run-through here). On an album that continuously shifts gears, from shit-kicking 4/4 like "She's Looking at You" and "Black" to lighter ballads ("Light Rain" and "Kinette"), the frontman displays his boozehound-next-door humor for the first time on "A Drunker Version of You," and it provides a welcome respite from the vitriol sprayed elsewhere.

What I'm presenting here isn't my rip, so a mighty thank you to whomever was responsible for it.  There may be a couple of minor glitches, that to my ears anyway were barely discernible. 

01. Bringing Down the House
02. Leaving Train
03. All My Friends
04. Always Between Wars
05. You Can't See
06. I Am In A World Crash With You
07. March 7th
08. Hometown Blues
09. She Knows Better
10. Creeping Coastline of Lights
11. Virginia City
12. Going Down to Town
13. Bringing Down the House (reprise)


Shea Roney said...

awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! thanks for taking my request!!!

joseph kyle said...

Mr. Courtney Love!