Friday, November 14, 2008

Guadalcanal Diary - Walking in the Shadow of the Big Man - 1984


Like R.E.M., the B-52's, and Pylon, this fine band hailed from the unlikely independent-rock hotbed of Athens, GA. The long jangle pop shadow of R.E.M. is extremely strong on this release, with seven of the ten tracks showing either full or partial influence of that group. Fortunately, the songs here are excellent, exhibiting much variety within this style. "Trail of Tears," a haunting antiwar number, sounds the most like their Athens counterparts. "Fire From Heaven" is more up-tempo, intense, and dynamic, while "Sleepers Awake" is an ominous, slowly unfolding song. "Ghost on the Road" is primarily a fast country-punk number that saves its R.E.M. stylings for its yearning chorus. "Gilbert Takes the Wheel" and the title track are jangly instrumentals, the former being a fast rocker with a thudding beat, the latter being a lengthy slow-tempo selection exhibiting noticeable psychedelic traits. Other territory is touched on as well. "Pillow Talk" is a winsomely energetic Everly Brothers-influenced song. The brilliant "Watusi Rodeo" is a jumpy pop number sporting over-the-top surf guitar licks and inspired hilarious-yet-uncomfortable lyrics about "Ugly American" cowboys in Africa. There's also an eccentric cover of the missionary hymn "Kum Ba Yah," complete with appreciative background audience shouting, an energetic drum solo, and extreme contrasts of loud and soft dynamics (sometimes within the same verse line). This odd yet strong album is well worth hearing. -AMG

If you like "
Walking in the Shadow of the Big Man" get it here!

Guadalcanal Diary - Walking in the Shadow of the Big Man - 1984 pt1/rs
Guadalcanal Diary - Walking in the Shadow of the Big Man - 1984 pt2/rs
or
Guadalcanal Diary - Walking in the Shadow of the Big Man - 1984 pt1/badongo
Guadalcanal Diary - Walking in the Shadow of the Big Man - 1984 pt2/badongo Rate this posting:

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks very much for this post. Brilliant record from an underrated band. Should have been bigger than REM.

Rhett said...

Actually, to be honest, when we wrote this material we didn't really know much about REM... Most of the comparisons were due to the Rics, I think. We did end up playing with them around the time Big Man was released, but most of the songs were well worn by then.

Curty Ray said...

Thanks Rhett for your sharing your first hand knowledge.

CR

LinkWithin

Blog Widget by LinkWithin