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Th' Faith Healers, L'

REVIEW: Th' Faith Healers, L' (Too Pure/American)
- jp, Alternative Press, October 1995

A collection of these British noiseniks' tracks from early 12-inch sides marrying bombastic guitar, and the alternating shriek and sweep of Roxanne Stephen. Ominous sludge grooves ("Slag"), steady-rockin' scraping ("Reptile Smile") and pleasant pop noise that wouldn't be out of place at a romantic Anglophile dinner at Jack Rabid's place ("Lovely"). In a perfect world, the Healers would have had their name on a banner flying off the House of Parliament. Instead we get Oasis. The world really is as sad as it seems.

REVIEW: Th' Faith Healers, L' (Too Pure/American)
- Tim Mohr

Th' Faith Healers have released a number of buzzing, stewing records (2 LPs and some EPs) of angular guitar music, and American releases L' so that the public can hear their early singles again.

The opening "Pop Song" reveals the band's basic qualities: distorted guitars, lo-fi production, and vocals rather similar to Kim Deal (Pixies, Breeders, Amps). In fact, Th' Faith Healers' records seem angrier, louder versions of the Breeders', though to call them derivitive would be completely unfair since Th' Faith Healers have been creating this music as long as the Breeders.

Many of the other tracks offer something else, something that has always set Th' Faith Healers apart from the Breeders: a band stretching out and letting themselves get carried away for a few minutes, therapeutically wringing out their guitars. The result is a bitter potion, but one that can function for the audience as it does for the band - as a release, a casting off of frustration.

L', like all Faith Healers releases, identifies nothing beyond song titles. And it seems appropriate that the anger spit forth by the singer on a song like "slag" cannot be associated with a named person. The sentiment is then uncontained, free to spread and infect the listener.

Th' Faith Healers (whose missing "e" was supposedly stolen by Thee Hypnotics in a cryptic joke) are at home on their English label, Too Pure. The experimental - at least, unusual - ideal that has surfaced in music from the label is faithfully adhered to by Th' Faith Healers: carrying on the boiling anger and explosive music of PJ Harvey and the post-Velvet Underground droning of early Stereolab, L' is a difficult but worthwhile recording.

American sometimes offers strange introductions to bands, and L' stands alongside Medecine's Sounds of Medecine as one of the most adventurous. Rather than toning down the band to get a foothold in the mainstream, American seems admirably content to let Th' Faith Healers reveal themselves in all their acidic splendor.

REVIEW: Th' Faith Healers, L' (Too Pure/American)
- Nitsuh Abebe, All Music Guide

L' is some of Th Faith Healers' earliest work, and as such it seems like a raw approximation of the later sound. It's a sloppy, noisy, developmental record, and probably isn't as artistically worthwhile as the band's later releases -- but despite its unformed qualities, it's still a great record for both fans of the group and others. All of the moments that are more defined on later releases are there -- the band's unique take on Too Pure's drone elements ("Slag"), and their unexpected turns toward more American indie ("Reptile Smile") -- which makes L' seem like a very promising and interesting release from a young band.

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Last modified 5 May 2003