The Prayer Chain - Mercury
1995, Rode Dog
5. Sky High
8. Manta Rae
9. Bendy Line
10. Sun Stoned
Um... yeah... what happened here? I've heard that the record company wanted another Shawl but the band pretty much gave them the finger (figuratively speaking) by producing Mercury. The band trades in their catchy alternative songs for these long, sprawling, complex compositions that have little in the way of hooks. "Waterdogs" and "Grylliade" probably sound the most like the old Prayer Chain, but the rest of the disc is psychedelic and demanding. It gives the listener little to latch on to. Some of the songs contain Eastern scales and other assorted experimental stuff. I remember seeing these guys in concert when this album came out and man... were they ever boring. Mercury is NOT the kind of music you play to a crowd wanting to have fun. Mercury is the kind of music you play alone in your room while staring at those velvet posters they sell at Spencer's that glow under ultraviolet light. Yeah... I was bored, the crowd was bored, heck - even the band looked bored. Never really got into this one but now as I'm writing this I'm thinking I need to go back and check it out....
UPDATE!... and check it out I did. I don't know if it's my age or the fact that I went through a huge Pink Floyd phase a few years ago, but I liked this a lot better. Granted it's still not "groovin' in the car" music but it's good background chill-out music. There are a lot of layers here and it takes some getting used to, but overall the experience was more positive than I thought it would be. Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of time to really listen to something like this (much the same as Pink Floyd).
Useless Fact: This was the band's last official album. They came out with Antarctica but I think that was just a live album with a few unreleased tracks on it. Steve Hindalong (The Choir) produced this album as he had with the others and wrote the lyrics to "Bendy Line."