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Flesh Balloon - EP

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Album Review

The Pale Saints' 1991 Flesh Balloon was the first single the band released after its excellent and experimental debut album. The band scaled back its ambition and noise levels for the EP but dialed up the emotion. "Hunted" appeared on the fine In Ribbons album in 1992 and it is an epically melancholic track that is lush and lovely, depending more on shadings and feeling rather than sonic assault. "Porpoise" is a charming bit of filler that utilizes a skittering drum machine rhythm and spacy guitars to create a weird hybrid of shoegaze and lounge music. The bubbly sweet "Kinky Love" is a dreamy cover of a 1976 Nancy Sinatra tune featuring new bandmember Meriel Barham on vocals. The demo of "Hair Shoes" (the rerecorded version appears on In Ribbons) is similar to the finished version but is still interesting. Fans of the band, and anyone who is even slightly a fan of the shoegaze sound should be, ought to look high and low for this great EP. "Kinky Love" alone is worth whatever you end up paying.


Formed: 1987 in Leeds, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s

Ethereal pop band the Pale Saints formed in Leeds, England, in 1987. Ian Masters (bass/vocals), Chris Cooper (drums), and Graeme Naysmith (guitar) were signed by Ivo Watts-Russell to his 4AD label on the strength of their first London appearance. The three-song Barging into the Presence of God was released two years later, receiving praise for its lead track, the melancholy "Sight of You" (which was later covered by Oxford's Ride for a radio session). In 1990, the debut LP The Comforts of Madness...
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Flesh Balloon - EP, Pale Saints
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