Pale Saints: In Ribbons (30th Anniversary Reissue) (4AD) - review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Sunday, July 21st, 2024  

Pale Saints

In Ribbons (30th Anniversary Reissue)

4AD

Jun 21, 2024 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Lush, Ride, Slowdive, Swervedriver, Chapterhouse, and other bands from the early ’90s UK shoegaze/dream-pop explosion have reunited in this century, all to rapturous audiences and critical acclaim as some have made new records as well. Leeds’ Pale Saints remain one of the majors holdouts who as of 2024, have never reunited. Sadly, due to the very recent passing of guitarist Graeme Naysmith, it would now be impossible to reunite the lineup that played on In Ribbons, their 1992-released second LP. Widely considered their best, In Ribbons finally saw a vinyl reissue late last year after being out of print in that format for 30 years (the only previous official pressing was the 1992 UK one), answering many longtime fans’ prayers in the process.

Three decades later, this album stands up as one of the greats of that entire “scene that celebrates itself,” the opening blast of “Throwing Back the Apple” still stunning, as are bassist/singer Ian Masters and guitarist/singer (and original Lush vocalist) Meriel Barham’s ethereal, genderless vocals, a perhaps alternate universe version of what My Bloody Valentine had attempted the year before with Loveless and its androgynous blend of male and female vocals.

For those who have never heard Pale Saints—and fair if so, as they never achieved much commercial success despite loads of critical acclaim—they landed somewhere between the heavier side of shoegaze (think early Ride or Swervedriver) and the more ethereal side represented by Lush, Slowdive, et al. Veteran producer Hugh Jones (The Damned, The Sound, Lucy Show, Kitchens of Distinction, et al.) got the best possible sound out of them, too, as evidenced by Barham and Naysmith’s walls of guitar, on the stunning side A closer “Hunted.” (www.4ad.com/artists/palesaints)

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 9/10



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