On Fire was the second album from legendary US slowcore merchants Galaxie 500 and is an album that has often been cited as the band's definitive statement. For the uninitiated Galaxie 500 played a kind of slow moving dreamy sprawl influenced by the Velvet Underground and Jonathan Richman, slowing the tempo down to crawling pace and spawning a slew of imitators in the process.
Vinyl LP £20.99 20202008
Reissued classic LP on 20/20/20.
Vinyl LP £15.99 REWIGLP70
Heavyweight vinyl repress LP on Domino.
- Includes download code
CD £10.49 REWIGCD70
Reissued CD with bonus disc on Domino.
8/10 Heart & Hand jukebox jockey 15th February 2017
Rating things out of ten is tough thing to do...
This album I would rate 2/10 for Zumba classes, 4/10 for late night kebab shop ambience, 6/10 for insurance claim "your call is important to us" holding muzak & definitely 10/10 for walking a suburban night mile in crisp virgin snow, home from your best friend's house in 1990, with the two cigarettes he let you pinch, and fresh batteries in your Walkman. (I can testify to that last one).
From gentle lilts, echoed plaintive beckonings and goofy rim-shots, these songs swell and tremble quite delicately... like windblown debris collecting into over-arching streamers... they blossom and wail and try to pull at your heart from strange directions - if I had a motor, I think I'd take some Galaxy 500 with me deep into the wilds to get under the stars (and I'm sure, I'd have some Built To Spill along for the same trip).
I hear a twinkle-to-soaring-wave motif - to 1989 me it was a key feature of this release, though now, explaining it to you, I have to add that it occurs not really with the precise scientific approach of later crescendo coaxers like Explosions In The Sky - No, for starters there are the choral, sometimes wailing and nearly always wonderfully flawed vocal deliveries, plus the overall production is delightfully ramshackle in comparison - but the surge and ebb thing occurs more than a couple of times here, in a much more casual but charming and fragile manner.
If you like your melancholia toasted by forest-fire, and your guitarists slow, probably wearing kerb scuffed denim, well then I would recommend you checking this beauty out.
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- On Fire by Galaxie 500
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