Lowlife

Eternity Road: Reflections of Lowlife 1985-95

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LTM assembled Eternity Road as part of its overall reissue series for Lowlife, and as a one-disc introduction to newcomers, as well as a reminder for longtime fans, it serves its purpose and then some. Indeed, Eternity Road taken as a whole is so shockingly good that it's practically astonishing at how the group never gained greater attention or cachet during its lifetime -- in retrospect they easily deserve mention alongside groups like the Sound and most especially the Chameleons. The latter is not a light comparison, since from opening cut "Sometime, Something," the similarity of lead singer Craig Lorentson's voice to that of Mark Burgess is clear -- not a cloning, but tapping a similarly rich vein of resonant, uplifting singing well suited for the epic yet melancholic surge of the music. Covering the entirety of the group's career from debut EP Rain to the final album, Gush, Eternity Road is an admirable overview, including a couple of rarities for good measure -- the original 7" version of the title track and the earliest released take of "Ramafied," which first appeared as part of a magazine giveaway. Even the cover art is a winner, subtly referencing a number of different album covers while still standing alone as a distinct effort. The liner notes are in typical LTM style, thorough and extensive, in this case being done by writer and band manager Brian Guthrie. Framing his reminiscences and those of the band with the account of a gathering of the original lineup for the first time in years to talk over the past and possibly look ahead to the future, Guthrie captures the story of a group that clearly had an ineluctable something which never quite translated into the wider attention it should have had.

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