- The Power of Negative Prayer
the Hell is Penance?
three-piece British Columbia based band waste no time in telling
you what they're all about - "Cheap words like happiness /
will let you down" is the refrain to the first song, and for
fifty five minutes thereafter we hear nothing but the musings
of some very disturbed and pessimistic minds.
it's often said that the best art comes out of such minds,
and The Power of Negative Prayer is no exception. "Cheap
Words Like Happiness" is but the first in a long line of timeless
dirges of suffering that sprawl across this CD. "Carousels"
is probably the best of the bunch and would make a superb
single - Dylanesque verses chime out "I might not be not Einstein
/ but I ain't no Frankenstein" or "You don't say thanks when
I splurge / or mourn when I dirge" and the beautiful sing-along
chorus of "I see you coming back to me / I dream you riding
carousels with buttons all undone" caps it off quite nicely,
especially the last chorus, slowed down and sung over acoustic
guitar and harmonica. Corny, but brilliant. "Gonna Love You"
is a classic teenage crush song - "Girls only like guys who
treat them cruel / if you're the exception that proves the
rule / give me a call on the telephone wire / and let me know
if you're love's for hire." "Made of Glass" contains just
about every word that can rhyme with "glass," including the
accusation "you're the queen of crass." Sights are set higher
on "Losing Time" - "I got bruises on my neck / from the dogchains
of romance." These are words that any 17-year-old aspiring
poet would die to call his own, but only the best would actually
goes on. "Mistaken For an Angel" has all the glorious excess
of '80s metal-pop, and even better, none of the annoying screeching
and dumb schoolboy lyrics that often went with it. The plead
of "Was I just another notch in your bedpost?" at the beginning
of "Slipping Through" could bring a tear to anyone's eye.
And "The King of Unrequited Love" says it all in the title.
easy to overlook such lyrical brilliance on an album that
rocks this hard. Imagine the perfectionist every-note-has-its-purpose
melodies of vintage power pop such as Cheap Trick, sung with
a whiney Billy Corgan-esque voice with a brash Ramones-like
attitude, and you may have somewhat of an idea what Solar
Baby sounds like. And it's far from predictable - there are
fast songs, ballads, an ubiquitious harmonica, and even the
occasional keyboard. But you've really got to hear it to believe
it. Solar Baby may not be the most original band in the world,
but they certainly worked hard on this promising CD, and they
are a first rate outlet for your pain.