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Down Here:Collected Recordings(1983-1985)

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Album Review

The whole of Crippled Pilgrims' sparse output is collected in one place on this anthology, which contains their 1984 debut six-song EP Head Down-Hand Out; their 1985 album Under Water; and alternate versions of two of the songs from the EP, one of which (the alternate of "People Going Nowhere") appeared on the various-artists compilation Bouncing Babies, the other of which (the alternate of "Black and White") was previously unreleased. While less polished than the album, the EP tracks actually have the edge here, with their rough combinations of post-punk with folk-psychedelic-indebted guitars and melodies. While retaining much of that approach, Under Water seems a little stiffer, less tuneful, and more morose, and though it's a point the band's small following of cultists would argue, there's nothing that has the power of the EP's bittersweet, mood-shifting "A Side He'll Never Show." The two alternate versions are by no means trivial add-ons: the alternate of "People Going Nowhere" has a lighter feel that (again arguably) makes it preferable to the one on the EP, and "Black and White" likewise has a more basic arrangement, though it doesn't compare as favorably to the one used on Head Down-Hand Out. Historical liner notes ably sum up the career of this obscure mid-'80s band.


Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s

Some of the Crippled Pilgrims' press has suggested that they were sort of a blend of late-'60s psychedelia and early new wave. Overall, however, this little-known mid-'80s group were more grounded in the sounds of early guitar-oriented post-punk, though their approach was less common when they were founded than it would be in the indie scene later in the 1980s. Forming in Washington, DC, some of the Crippled Pilgrims had connections with the city's punk and alternative bands; bassist Mitch Parker...
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Down Here:Collected Recordings(1983-1985), Crippled Pilgrims
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