Th' Faith Healers "Peel Sessions" CD (Ba Da Bing)

Coming out at the same time as Stereolab and PJ Harvery (with both of whom they shared a record label as well as a previous Peel Sessions compilation on Strange Fruit), Th’ Faith Healers were a gritty, noisy version of their peers but were no less revelatory. Led by the meaty jangle of guitarist Tom Cullinan (Quickspace), they played a type of neo-Krautrock minimalism but never forgot they were a rock band. Songs could go on for over forty minutes, locking into a groove, shifting and changing with subtlety, pummeling the rhythm home with energy and force, yet remaining spontaneous and fun. The songs on their three albums (the last two of which were released in the U.S. on Elektra Records) are amongst the greatest of nineties rock, avoiding the indulgences of the day and keeping chained to the strength of the melody. "Reptile Smile," "Don’t Jones Me," and "Sparklingly Chime" maintained a constant energy throughout, thanks to Joe Dilworth’s steel-secure drumming style (Joe took over for Ben Hopkin, who then switched to bass) and Roxanne Stephen’s powerful and charismatic vocal delivery.  Over the years, the band was asked five times to record sessions for John Peel’s innovative radio show. The first session was released in the mid-nineties on the compilation listed above, but the others have not been available until now. Besides displaying a band that was just as powerful when taped live as in the studio, the sessions also boast some surprises, including a few songs written for their never-recorded fourth album. This CD compiles all the songs from the four sessions, recorded between 1992 and 1994, and sheds new light on a band that is too often overlooked when the innovators of the last decade are summarized.