The Embarrassment - God Help Us - 1990 MP3/Flac

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A reunion album from the Embarrassment doubtless wasn't even on fans' lists of things bound to happen, but such indeed turned out to be the case. With all four members in place as before, the band whipped up a combination of new songs, re-recordings of older ones, and even a cover, namely a fun romp through the late Elvis hit "Burning Love." With Lou Giordano providing fine co-production with the quartet, the air of God Help Us is a solid combination of earlier nervy power and perhaps a touch more ease than before, though not enough to obscure the band's true talents. Nichols remains in fine voice, perhaps mixed once or twice more into the background than before but still a perfect frontman, while Goffrier's guitar work never lets listeners up, shuddering and powerful when it needs to be, gently hooky elsewhere. The Klaus/Giessmann rhythm section sounds like they've been doing it nonstop since the breakup, in perfect sync and never lazy or sloppy. Three songs from the band's first existence resurface here; two, "After the Disco" and "Lifespan," originally appeared on compilations, here getting reasonable enough revivals. The third makes for an interesting choice: the band's debut single, "Sex Drive," given a shorter read through here than on the original recording. It's not quite the equal of said original, perhaps a touch more conventionally rocking along as opposed to completely wigging out, but Nichols still sings it well. As for the newer songs, some, like "Train of Thought," which also appears later as a reprise, and "Podmen" show that the group's knack for quick, just frazzled enough tunes hadn't left. Meanwhile, "Beautiful Day" and "Horror of the Fire" show another side, calmer but still with just enough herky-jerky fun.-AMG

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