Originally released in 1993, Fucked Up Inside is perhaps the definitive Spiritualized document. Recorded in L.A. in 1992, the album, out again as of today via Glass Modern Records, sees the band burn their way through some familiar numbers from Lazer Guided Melodies and Pure Phase.
That the live setting allowed "J. Spaceman" to find the soulful heart of these compositions is a given, but that Jason Pierce was such a good frontman is perhaps surprising considering how focused Pierce seemed on the studio recordings on achieving a kind of blissed-out detachment. An epic "Medication", for instance, sees the Spaceman blend elements of soul and free jazz in the service of what was getting called shoegaze way back when. Elsewhere, a spacious "Angel Sigh" skirts the distant edges of the sort of near-ambient music that bands like Seafeel once cranked out, while a throbbing "Smiles" finds Spiritualized employ a motorik rhythmic pattern under a glorious rush of fuzz-rock. A reflective cover of Pierce's own Spacemen 3 number, "Walking With Jesus" links Pierce's past and present in excellent fashion, while a lengthy run at "Shine A Light (Clear Light/Clear Rush)" finds J. Spaceman and crew whipping up a furious racket that ebbs and flows like the waves from a distant tsunami.
A superb document of one of the most vital bands from the first, big wave of shoegaze acts, Fucked Up Inside delights. The reissue on Glass Records sounds fantastic and the material nearly glows in spots thanks to the mastering by John Rivers. This is the rare live album that seems as essential as a studio release.
[Photo: Colin Bell]