Thrashing Doves

Bedrock Vice

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AllMusic Review by

The easily addicted should steer away from the Thrashing Doves' 1987 debut LP Bedrock Vice. The Thrashing Doves load the first half of Bedrock Vice with so many ear-snatching hooks that pressing the stop button on the CD player becomes a monumental task. The opening track, "Beautiful Imbalance," is pitilessly catchy; after one listen, the song's toe-tapping jangly riffs and sprightly keyboards claw into the brain and refuse to let go. "Every time I see you/You've got a different pair of shoes/Like a thief in the night/You don't leave no clues," vocalist Ken Foreman sings, his voice oozing with the deranged bitterness of the Violent Femmes' Gordon Gano. "Matchstick Flotilla" sails on an ocean of sparkling synths; Foreman's voice crackles with uninhibited enthusiasm. The pulsating keyboards of "Biba's Basement" are exhilarating, even after repeated spins. While Bedrock Vice may seem genial on the surface, the Thrashing Doves slide dark narratives underneath the rollicking music. In "Rochdale House," for example, a boy sells his body to a businessman for drugs while "Killer for You" has a man robbing a bank to impress a girl. However, the Thrashing Doves are unable to sustain Bedrock Vice's initial pace. Once "Biba's Basement" is over, the group sounds drained. But if they didn't, there'd never be a reason to take the CD out.

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