Scarce

Deadsexy

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    9
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AllMusic Review by

What should have been a hit album during the alternative rock boom of the mid-'90s became a forgotten record after Chick Graning's brain hemorrhage and Scarce's subsequent disbanding. Nonetheless, Deadsexy is full of great, catchy rock songs that show off Graning's sense of melody and his uniquely expressive voice -- intense, scratchy, and soothing all at once with an astonishing range. His sense of drama evokes David Bowie, while the band's guitar textures and the dynamic between Graning and bassist Joyce Raskin recalls the seminal New England alternative rock band the Pixies. "Honeysimple" and "Glamourizing Cigarettes" are short and memorable, while "Freakshadow" is a great example of the loud-soft dynamics that typified alternative rock at the time. The album closer "Obviously Midnight" is strangely prescient given Graning's medical problems after the album was originally recorded (the lyric states "I know I'm alive, I feel like I've died"). Raskin, however, is de-emphasized on this record, and the production is a bit too smooth and clear for this ragged crew, as can be heard in two songs redone from the band's Red EP ("All Sideways" and "Days Like This").

( Prior to Graning's brain hemorrhage, the album was originally released in the United Kingdom with a different track order, a different drummer, and four different songs. The main difference is that while the U.K. version features a better Raskin song ("So, Thrill Me" instead of "Summertime"), the U.S. version features the live favorite "Crimea River," the roots rocker "Rains of Kansas," and the unexciting but thankfully short "Salvador Sammy.")

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