Friday, January 5, 2018

The Stars of Heaven - Speak Slowly

The Stars of Heaven released their second album in 1988.  It opens in far more strident a fashion than anything on Sacred Heart Hotel with a big, brash slab of jangly rock and roll, Unfinished Dreaming.  In fact there are a few rockier numbers in the vein of an alt-country Replacements, by way of Green On Red with a little dash of The Cult of all things, notably the track 28.  Little England and What Else Could I Do are like classic IRS-period REM.  The country influence is particularly strong on the pedal steel and fiddle enhanced Paradise of Lies, while despite the prominent accordion,  2 O'Clock Waltz is really rather good. The gorgeous Johnny Marr-style picked and jangled guitars of Leave As You Came might be the best thing here, though moody closer Ghost Cars gives it a run for its money.  There are no dodgy tracks here, tracks like Every Other Day do a fine line in non-cheesy country-rock.  The only snag is currently this album is very hard to track down.