Th’Faith Healers to end the week. The more I comb through albums and sessions from the 90s, the more it becomes glowingly apparent it was a decade that had a lot more going for it than many previously believed. Although I have always felt that particular explosion in talent, coming by way of Manchester and Seattle, changed the direction for much of Rock for the rest of the decade and well into the 2000’s, I am reminded that the explosion came from a lot of different places throughout the world; that they were unified by a common thread – that desire to offer music that was immediate, visceral and life-changing. On the one hand experimental, but in the case of Th’ Faith Healers, another hand in borderline familiar.
And when I’m reminded of bands like Th’ Faith Healers (which, sadly they initially broke up in 1994 before reuniting in 2006), I keep thinking of just how influential bands like them were, not only at the time, but for years later.
I always thought this dramatic upheaval in Rock was a reaction to what had become a sense of complacency in the 1980s. That Grunge was a reaction to Techno, much as Punk was a reaction to the laid-back (on the one end) or over-produced (on the other end) Pop music at the time. Music during the 80s was going through a sense of sameness, due in no small part to the advent of MTV and the notion that music had to be laid out in visual terms rather than musical ones – that what was going outside of that slightly recycled atmosphere was highly charged and potentially dangerous – that it stripped down the over-production, replacing it with a pure vision that was without compromise, that was direct and that was demanding to be heard and felt (which is why that period of music produced some of the loudest groups in Rock history).
Many people have said that Th’ Faith Healers were life-changing, that they were a band you had to see live in order to fully appreciate. I admit I didn’t get a chance to see them during their initial incarnation, but this session for John Peel comes in at a close second for sheer energy. Peel had a knack (or his engineers did) for instilling a sense of energy in a band that was often better than their official studio efforts. The end result is astonishing.
I think it’s safe to say that this first session was a harbinger of things to come for this band – and that Th’ Faith Healers have maintained a freshness and urgency in these 1991 sessions that is still felt today.
For me, they were another one of the many reasons why music in the 1990’s was profound and exciting. Th’ Faith Healers exemplified that. In short, I loved this band.
Since it’s Friday, and just ahead of the weekend, it’s almost a requirement to play this as loud as possible.