Pure Phase

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Much of the reason that the Pure Phase album seemed a tad disappointing upon its 1995 release was that the Electric Mainline teaser EP issued over a year earlier was so fantastic -- its three tracks possess an organic vitality and soulful grit that the overly fussy versions reprised on Pure Phase sorely lack. "Good Times" exists at the intersection of cosmic rock roll and salt-of-the-earth RB, fusing a chugging, hypnotic guitar riff with backing vocals and horn arrangements channeled from some off-planet franchise of Muscle Shoals Studios. "Lay Back in the Sun" somehow manages to achieve exit velocity despite (or maybe because of) a grinding, circular melody that actually goes nowhere, and the two-part instrumental title cut captures the same arriving-without-traveling zeitgeist. Jason Pierce advises in the liner notes to "play loud 'n' drive fast" -- words worth heeding at all times. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi