Pastoral Hide & Seek/Divinity

Pastoral Hide & Seek/Divinity

by The Gun Club


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Pastoral Hide & Seek/Divinity

It was both ironic and appropriate that Jeffrey Lee Pierce, a man who worshiped at the altar of American blues and jazz, found himself in the late 1980s with a much larger and more loyal audience in Europe and Holland than in the United States, much like the musicians who had first inspired him. As a result, several of The Gun Club's later albums were slow to find release in the United States, and this CD combines two European efforts that had previously traveled in the United States only as imports. On 1990's Pastoral Hide & Seek, Jeffrey Lee Pierce had promoted himself to lead guitar (Kid Congo Powers was still on hand to provide slide licks), and his concise, stripped-down guitar lines lead the band away from the blues structures of their earlier work and into a leaner, more contemporary R&B styled direction (especially on "St. John's Divine" and "The Straits of Love and Hate"), though the passion and attack of the band is still pure rock & roll throughout. While Pierce's vocals aren't quite as strong as on the preceding album, Mother Juno, his songwriting chops were in fine form, especially on "Humanesque," "Emily's Changed," "I Hear Your Heart Singing," and "The Great Divide"; Pastoral Hide & Seek is low-key Gun Club, but beneath its subtle surface it's as committed and heartfelt as anything in the band's catalog. 1991's Divinity is a bit more problematic; featuring four new songs and three live remakes of older tunes, Divinity sounds a bit more murky. While the opening guitar workout, "Sorrow Knows," proves that Pierce had grown into a impressive axeman, its seven-minute length is a bit excessive, and while the other three new cuts are strong, they don't hold together terribly well, sounding like fragments from an aborted album rather than an EP meant to stand on its own. The live songs show the band in fine form on stage, though the eight-minute stretchout of "Yellow Eyes" isn't as effective as the more concise and muscular approach of "Hearts" and "Fire of Love." An unreleased take of "Crab Dance" is added to the disc as a bonus.

Product Details

Release Date: 12/12/2000
Label: Buddha
UPC: 0744659969522
catalogNumber: 99695

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