Seeking a refuge from the sunny pop-punk of the LifeSavers, Michael Knott created a shadowy sibling for the outfit, LifeSavers Underground, or L.S.U.. Shaded Pain's dark chords and death-obsessed lyrics created a maelstrom on its initial release, causing it to be returned in mass quantities by horrified listeners expecting a jovial punk rock album. Shaded Pain instead recalls the same sort of hollow, threatening darkness conjured by artists like Bauhaus and Nick Cave. Knott sings like a man possessed, howling and shrieking through driving numbers like "Die Baby Die" and moaning like a prophet of doom in the chilling "Bye Bye Colour." There is no absolution on Shaded Pain, just endless emptiness. Even the up-tempo "Our Time Has Come" is built around the grim chorus: "Our time has come to kiss the cleaver." Despite this, the record still sounds like a burst of creative energy, Brian Doidge's guitar screaming like a rabid swine and Knott's haunting voice is the embodiment of regret and self-loathing. Though it was misunderstood at the time of its release, Shaded Pain would go on to attain the status of cult classic, inspiring artists like Starflyer 59 and the Huntingtons.
AllMusic Review by J. Edward Keyes