Welcome to Review Revue, where every Thursday I dig through the KEXP stacks to share DJ reviews and comments written on the covers of LPs (and occasionally CDs) in the ’80s and ’90s, when the station was called KCMU, the DJs were volunteers, and people shared their opinions on little white labels instead of the internet.
I'm a little surprised — based on what little I've learned about the band today — that The Balancing Act aren't better known as a mid-to-late '80s college rock mainstay. They released this album in 1988 on I.R.S. records, which, if you weren't around then, was a pretty big deal (labelmates included Fine Young Cannibals, who were huge for a minute there, and R.E.M., who were huge forever). And, if the reaction here at KCMU was any indication, they were known and well liked at college radio stations. So what happened? I don't know exactly, but Curtains was the band's last album . . . or was it? Over on their Facebook page there's a post promising a new album in 2016. Obviously that didn't happen, but maybe now, a couple years later, we're getting close? Follow the band to find out! (And let's bump up those numbers, huh? I have yet to hear a note of their music, but I can already tell they deserve more online love than they're getting.)
"Covering Funkadelic was not a good idea ('Can U Get to That') but otherwise I like this. Not as spare as their other 2 albums, but still kinda nice. A solid candidate for L. Mellow folk pop/rock w/intelligent lyrics & unique instrumentation."
"These guys are way cool. This album deserves better than light. M"
"Em Me! (Backwards too!)"
"Dangerous Roof!! Not as good as previous stuff at first listen tho!"
"Wait 'til you've heard it 2 or 3 times . . . should be H, not L. These guys are great live, too! (The Funkadelic cover seemed like a great idea at the time.)"
This week's Review Revue spotlights the album Nuts and Bolts by Richard Barone and James Mastro. See what the KCMU DJs thought back in the day.
This week's Review Revue spotlights the EP Help Save the Youth of America (Live and Dubious) by Billy Bragg. See what KCMU DJs thought back in the day.