Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Railway Children - Native Place - 1990

The first song I ever heard by the Railway Children was It's Heaven.  It came on my local college station back in 1990 right after a Hollow Men song, and I think just before Manna & Quail by Caterwaul.  Or maybe that's just how my brain remembers it, as there were so many GREAT Indie/Post Punk tracks that came out just before Grunge and Industrial music polluted the landscape for the next decade.

I got the album on cassette in a Cut-Out bin, for about 3 bucks.  It had that nice little slice cut out of the bottom of the spine on the jewel case, I guess that's how they marked the tapes for cut-outs, or maybe they were cut-outs because of that mark.  It was like someone had run a circular saw right across the bottom of the spine, a nice hole about an eighth of an inch thick, and the thickness of the case.  BUT I DIGRESS.  Like a fucking bird dog, I am.

It took me a while to get into the album, as I was looking for the catchy pop hooks and the synths that It's Heaven has.  That one song stands out different than the rest of the tracks on the album, I think.  I couldn't really find any others even close.  As it is, after a while, it grew on me, and I realized that the pop hooks were there, just not glaringly obvious.  The melodies are very personal and soothing, and the entire album is longing and heartfelt.  To me, it stands out as a singular masterpiece from the Children, with few contenders as lasting. 

I had planned on posting this 3 or 4 months ago, the cover and collection done more than a month in advance.  But, less than a week before I post it, Ricky posts the original album over on Madchester Rave On.  I was dumbfounded.  I've had coincidences like that numerous times with the other bloggers, but that one was about as close as it had ever come.  SO, I threw it all the way out into late June.  When I first heard the album, it was mid-November, so trying to listen to it in the middle of the summer is a little disconcerting.  You ever have that problem?  Or am I the only freek in the room?

2 comments:

  1. This album is AMAZING. And I can tell you that "Recurrence," "Reunion Wilderness," and "Dream Arcade" are just as good. Everything Gary Newby touches is gold, if you ask me. The guy is a brilliant songwriter and a terrific vocalist.

    I have to disagree with you about the pop hooks on this album not jumping out at you. The first song of theirs I ever heard was "Every Beat of the Heart," and it grabbed me from the first listen. In fact, that was why I bought the album -- heard the song late LATE (I mean late like 3 AM -- I've always been plagued with insomnia) on MTV one night (when I still had cable -- alas, now I do not, though I hear that MTV shows music videos once every time a pink elephant wearing a sparkly pink tutu jumps a Harley over the moon, so I don't seem to be missing out on much), and I HAD to have the album it was from. Loved it then, still love it. This is one of those albums I don't think I'll ever get tired of listening to!

    (I DO think "It's Heaven" is an amazing song. But I also think that "Every Beat of the Heart" is better.)

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  2. if you haven't heard it - gentle sound is well worth getting =. Gary Newby doing acoustic versions of songs that span all their lps

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