Drenched

Miracle Legion

Morgan Creek Records, 1992

http://miraclelegion.bandcamp.com

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 07/31/2016

On the lone major-label release by one of the most underrated rock acts of the ‘80s, Miracle Legion made the most experimental record of their career. Produced by John Porter, best known for his work with The Smiths, and featuring keyboard work by Ian McLagan of the Faces, this is a work that was completely different from their previous albums.

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The jangly sound is still present on songs like “Snacks And Candy,” probably the most pop song ever written about the brutal mob murder of an African-American teenager. Despite the grim subject nature, it’s a song that you won’t be able to get out of your head. Mark Mulcahy and guitarist Mr. Ray are still two of the most dynamic musicians of the alt rock era; that’s omnipresent from the get go on “Sooner,” which rocks much harder than anything on Me And Mr. Ray.

The addition of a new rhythm section really helps bring a lot of the songs alive, like “So Good” and the rockin’ “Velvetine,” a personal favorite of mine. The album’s centerpiece is “Everything Is Rosy” which comes across as a slow-burner of a ballad but sounds so damn good.

Not everything here is such a winner, however. Songs like “With A Wish” and “Sea Hag” don’t have the same amount of power and seem much like filler. But there’s enough great material, like “Little Blue Light,” that it manages to outweigh the filler.

Despite the genuine quality of this record, the band was struck with bad luck. Signed to a record label that never did squat to promote their records, the band became stuck in legal limbo for years before being allowed to record again. It’s been nearly twenty-five years since this record’s release and the only way you can get it besides Amazon is on Bandcamp. It’s been out of print since the mid-‘90s, and I think it’s high time that records like these get re-released so that the population at large can enjoy them. Miracle Legion’s reputation has been reassessed lately and they’ve started getting their due as a dynamic band. This record really does highlight everything that made this band so great.

Rating: B

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