Picks and Pans Review: Sweet F.a.
updated 04/01/1996 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 04/01/1996 AT 01:00 AM EST
Love and Rockets have yet to revisit the lofty No. 3 height of their one hit, 1989's "So Alive," but the British trio's substantial discography and distinguished post-punk credentials (as members of Bauhaus, they helped found Goth-rock in the early '80s) make them much more than one-hit wonders. Their sixth album, Sweet F.A., will whet the appetite of the band's cult following, but its strange fruit may be too ripe for pop radio. Boasting a slinky sexiness that recalls T. Rex's Electric Warrior, the new CD has a sweet and sour sound—sometimes in the space of one song. The hushed ambience of its sweeter minimalist numbers ("Pearl" and the title track) makes them sound like jaded folk music for the next millennium. By contrast, on saltier fare like "Judgement Day," vocalist Daniel Ash loses his detached cool, sounding agonized as guitars cascade and bass lines drone ominously in the background. The spine-tingling effect makes Sweet F.A. a welcome antidote to the drab homogeneity that monopolizes modern rock. (American Recordings)