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060768463424
Amazing Grace [PA]
Artist: The Off-White Set
Format: CD
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Amazing Grace is a big fat reason for Spacemen 3 fans and record store grunts everywhere to celebrate-on the surface, at least. For starters, Spiritualized leader Jason Pierce (Leader? Let's face it, Pierce is Spiritualized; he maintains the convenient fiction of running a proper band simply to avoid getting pegged as some kind of Richard Ashcroft type-a wise move on his part.) has finally stopped grinding out the same slowed-down Velvet Underground song over and over again. (Might that be "Heroin?") This, in and of itself, provides ample reason for any poor soul unfortunate enough to work in retail alongside a hardcore Spiritualista to breathe a mighty sigh of relief. Plus, Pierce has canned the Wonder Bread (40% chemicals, 60% air) approach to recording that characterized his output during the better part of the nineties.

In fact, the two all-out bashers that open the album, "This Little Life of Mine" and "She Kissed Me," find Pierce, conveniently re-rechristened "J. Spaceman," returning to what could be potentially be construed as his astro/psychonautical roots, were it not for the fact that both songs sound far more like Primal Scream trying to approximate Raw Power-era Stooges than anything even vaguely resembling Pierce, er, Pop, uh Spacemen 3. Dude's identity crisis manifests even more strangely on another rocker, "Cheapster." Despite its Bolanesque title, the track conjures images of Rolling Thunder-era Dylan straining valiantly to recapture himself circa Highway 61 Revisited with so much potency, you can almost smell Mick Ronson's moccasins.
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