Sad Lovers & Giants

In the Breeze

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Despite the relative success of Sad Lovers and Giants' proper debut LP, 1983's Feeding the Flame, and the attendant lime-lighting which followed, the band themselves were in shambles and split at the end of the year. Fans wouldn't be left in the cold for long, though, and were revived with the compilation LP In the Breeze in 1984. Presenting previously unreleased songs culled from the band's own studio outtakes, plus a superb Peel Session recording from late 1981, In the Breeze is a stunningly atmospheric collection of goodies that find the band still slick and proficient but, due to the nature of the tracks, delightfully edgy as well. The set revisits some of the band's earliest material, "Echoplay," "Clint," and "Alice (Isn't Playing" included, and in so doing provides excellent sonic blueprints for the final LP versions. But where In the Breeze is more interesting is across the songs that never reached vinyl. Both "50:50" and "The Change," recorded in 1981 at Pet Sounds studio, were early live staples and, while "Imagination" first appeared on the band's debut EP, Cle, the song then disappeared until it was reworked for Feeding the Flame. Although it wasn't included on the finished LP, the outtake can be found here, along with the pop-edged, guitar-heavy "3 Lines," dating from the same sessions. This is an excellent, behind-the-scenes look at a band time has forgotten. Of vital importance to the die-hard fan, In the Breeze remains a wholly enjoyable post-punk experience for the layman -- thanks, in part, to the "electronic tweaking" of many of these songs prior to the release of the LP! But, no matter, there's precious little of this band to go around, and a little studio trickery is of no real consequence.

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