Miracle Legion recordings! For many years I only knew of the existence of the Simple Thing cassette/demo by virtue of it's mention in ML's entry in the Trouser Press Record Guide. Granted, I'm making this a Chanukah offering, I know pretty darn well that this nugget won't qualify as particularly special or revelatory to the better part of you reading this. So what's the big deal? In a nutshell, I'm a mondo fan of Miracle Legions first two records, namely their 1984 debut ep, The Backyard, and their first full length, Surprise, Surprise, Surprise which arrived three years later. Both are quintessential strum and jangle college radio staples that warranted a CD reissue decades ago (hint, hint Omnivore, Captured Tracks?) No muss, no fuss. Just effortlessly great pop tunes...that for better or worse received way too many comparisons to R.E.M., but I digress.
I don't own an original copy of Simple Thing, but I befriended someone who does. Those of you acquainted with this fine Connecticut export may recognize a few songs by name ("All For the Best," "Little Man," etc) but will discover that these much rawer, nascent arrangements sound foreign by comparison to the incarnations that wound up on proper ML records. The scintillating "Fight to Fight" is steeped in austere, jagged post-punk, and provides ample evidence that the band absorbed an earful of the first three U2 albums. Ditto for the equally appealing "Stephen, Are You There." Other selections aren't as compelling but are nonetheless cut from the same foreboding fabric. When all is said and done, Simple Thing, paints a rough, and dare I say amateurish portrait of a band with a couple of really hot ideas, and lots of fine tuning ahead of them that would really pay off in the end. A big round of applause to MT for setting me up with everything. As obscurities go, this is inexplicably rare.
BTW, I previously shared a promo-only, 1992 Miracle Legion ep that's still for the taking here.
01. Fight to Fight
02. Little Man
03. All For the Best
04. Stephen, Are You There?
06. The Heroes Calling
Officially available on Bandcamp