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First Love, Last Rites (Music from the Motion Picture)

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Album Review

First Love, Last Rites is one of the more interesting motion picture soundtracks to come along in recent times. All of the songs were written and performed by Shudder to Think, but the catch is that they have a host of different alternative rock stars pitching in on vocals. All of the songs have a strong retro feel, since the music is originating from an oldies radio station throughout the movie. The Shudder boys show the range of their talents as they back up such alternative favorites as the late Jeff Buckley ("I Want Someone Badly"), Billy Corgan ("When I Was Born, I Was Bored"), Liz Phair ("Erecting a Movie Star"), and others. Shudder to Think pitches in six compositions that they perform entirely themselves (including vocals), the best of the bunch being the country twang of "Lonesome Dove" and "Diamonds, Sparks & All," which contains a very strong high-school-prom sound. Other highlights include a pair of tracks featuring two rock legends (Cheap Trick's Robin Zander on "Automatic Soup" and X's John Doe on "Speed of Love"), which help round out a great and unpredictable collection of "oldies."

Customer Reviews

Great mix of artists and Styles

I found this album after already being a Shudder to Think fan so that definitely biased me. But, the songs are a great mix of styles and the addition of different singers really sets it apart. Some you don't think much of at first turn out to grow on you fast. One thing I like about this album is that the album is listenable in its entirety. That's rare for me anymore.

One of those hidden gems

A soundtrack to a little known movie from 1998 starring Giovanni Ribisi & Natasha Gregson Wagner. While the film is arguably weird, bad, or wonderful depending on individual tastes, the music is instantly catchy, a mix of alternative-whimsical & retro/country/bluesy sounds that comes together to perfectly set off the movie's offbeat feel. So glad I ran across this one!


Formed: 1986 in Washington D.C.

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s

Shudder to Think's hardcore punk background (courtesy of their affiliation with the D.C.-based label Dischord Records, also the home of Fugazi) doesn't give the best indication of their sound, since the group embraced pop influences and a skewed sense of songwriting as well. Formed in 1986, the band's initial lineup -- vocalist/guitarist Craig Wedren, guitarist Chris Matthews, bassist Stuart Hill, and drummer Mike Russell -- released two singles and one 1989 album (Curse, Spells, Voodoo, Mooses)...
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