The Shamen

Drop

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Ecstasy had a shocking effect on the Shamen, widening the gulf between Drop's dour psychedelic rock and the later politicized drug-rave apologia in singles like "Move Any Mountain" and "Ebeneezer Goode," but many believed the band leapt across the divide too soon. 1987's "I Don't Like," "Young 'Till Yesterday," and "World Theatre" were products of a band busy with the rattled monotone of the Chameleons, or the Cure at their "Killing an Arab" best, and linchpin Colin Angus always found a way to work through the textures of acid rock without sacrificing melody. Elsewhere, the band incorporated synthesizers in a style that never felt unnatural or simply an excuse to play smoke and mirrors to a late-'80s audience bored of indie guitar music. All of which helped the Shamen take off to bigger and brighter things, of course, but one must wonder if the group would ever have had the same impact if they didn't begin their career with such vaporous unconventionality.

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