Spiritualized - Fucked Up Inside - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Spiritualized - Fucked Up Inside

by Sean Hewson Rating:8 Release Date:2018-10-26
Spiritualized - Fucked Up Inside
Spiritualized - Fucked Up Inside

Fucked Up Inside was Spiritualized's first live record and was only available by mail order. It was recorded in San Diego and LA in November 1992 on their first US tour. They were touring Lazer Guided Melodies at the time but there are also tracks from Pure Phase on the album, as well as Walking With Jesus by Spacemen 3. I’m guessing that the line-up was the same as on the first album - basically Spacemen 3 without Sonic Boom and with Kate Radley (although it’s probably Sean Cook on bass rather than Will Carruthers). Anyone who has seen Spiritualized live knows they are fantastic live and therefore this album will be fantastic.

Take Good Care Of It is a song that would appear on Pure Phase in 1995. Here it starts with Kate Radley’s organ and Jason Pierce’s voice before harmonica and tremolo guitar fill the sound out and the whole band joins in. After this gentle introduction, I Want You (from Lazer Guided Melodies) is more up-tempo. A classic two-chord Pierce song, enhanced here by some strong bass and saxophone playing. This song shows how Pierce took the basic sound of his Spacemen 3 songs and fleshed it out. This simplicity married to the expansive arrangements (live and on record) would gather them more and more fans. Medication (from Pure Phase) is next and unleashes the first big chorus, showing off the hold back/release dynamics of this band. After a storming seven minutes, the pace is slowed down for Angel Sign from the first album. Radley holds one chord whilst Pierce and Cook build the song up until it bursts into life. The interplay between guitars and organ on the verses is particularly pretty as the musicians let the song unfurl and build. Spacemen 3’s Walking With Jesus is next with its familiar bouncing pace and two-chord organ part. Pierce’s vocal is particularly good on this, simultaneously fragile and strong. There is a huge build-up of free noise during the instrumental sections that is then broken down to the two organ chords. Spiritualized move straight into the slow, quiet introduction to Shine A Light with Pierce’s voice quavering and frail, singing to God. The lead guitar is quite lovely on this track with Pierce and Refoy weaving in and out of each other. Again, there is a certain amount of free playing from the whole band before the organ takes over for an almost Steve Reich-like section in the middle which gives way to some noodling and then the slow reconstruction of the song into a total freak-out that finishes after over 14 minutes. Smiles, from Lazer Guided Melodies, is the last track. The chords from Medication, a lovely verse from Pierce and then an eruption. Perfectly encapsulating the Spiritualized live beast. It finishes in a very satisfying wah-wah frenzy.

Fucked Up Inside is a chance to see the early Spiritualized (always a strong live band) really start to soar. Over simple structures, the band either build huge towers of sound or fragile little melodies. They’re still doing it to this day. With very little, Jason Pierce and Spiritualized have always managed to achieve and convey a hell of a lot.

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