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When the Going Gets Dark

QuasiAudio CD
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

Price: $15.44 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 11 Songs, 2006 $9.49  
Audio CD, 2006 $15.44  
Vinyl, 2006 $16.08  

Amazon's Quasi Store


Image of album by Quasi


Image of Quasi


Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler - directed by Clyde Petersen


Quasi formed in Portland, Ore., in 1993, which means that it's been fearlessly rocking since long before your website launched or you booted up an iPod. For years -- 17 to be exact -- it was a duo consisting of Sam Coomes and Janet Weiss. In 2006, Joanna Bolme (of Stephen Malkmus + The Jicks) joined the band on bass.

Quasi flings words and notes relentlessly, hurling music across the ... Read more in Amazon's Quasi Store

Visit Amazon's Quasi Store
for 8 albums, 8 photos, videos, and 2 full streaming songs.

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When the Going Gets Dark + American Gong
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 21, 2006)
  • Original Release Date: 2006
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Touch & Go Records
  • ASIN: B000E6GC4I
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #443,098 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Alice the Goon
2. The Rhino
3. When the Going Gets Dark
4. I Don’t Know You Anymore
5. Peace and Love
6. Beyond the Sky
7. Presto-Change-o
8. Poverty Sucks
9. Merry X-Mas
10. Death Culture Blues
11. Invisible Star

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Quasi captures sounds that are powerful, unrepeatable, and unmistakably psychedelic. Producer Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips, Mercury Rev, Sleater-Kinney) made the mixes powerful and unpredictable. He enhanced the swirling, layered, psyche feel. When The Going Gets Dark proves that all the blood, sweat, and tears were worthwhile. Touch & Go. 2006.

The end of the world is nigh and Sam Coomes sounds really pissed about it, and also more than a bit confused. But mostly pissed. Indie-rock's greatest angry piano man--aided and abetted as always by drummer/ co-vocalist Janet Weiss--brings all of his tricks to the table on this loud and excellent album. It's the duo's best since their ground-breaking Featuring "Birds". The chaotic energy of his Blues Goblins persona is given the focus of Badfinger-y pop. And everywhere the menace of stomping, classic rock looms excellently; Coomes' guitar playing has never been so intense and focused. Anyone can look at the world and write "what the hell is wrong with the world?" music, especially today. But few can do it with equal amounts of humor and conviction. The title tune manages that and more. If only preaching to the converted always sounded so sweet. --Mike McGonigal

Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From Darkness into Light March 22, 2006
Format:Audio CD
Some fans of the 90's Quasi sound may find themselves truly left in the dark with WTGGD, but those adventurous enough to follow along with this band's journey will be unduly rewarded with their hardest hitting recording to date. Pounding piano riffs and psychedelic guitar flourishes abound, along with Janet's always dead-on drumming. Alice the Goon and The Rhino get to album off to a heavy piano destroying start, with all of the charm of early Quasi invigorated by the new found heaviness in their sound. The politics of their last release is still evident but less emphasis has been placed on name calling, replaced by a call to own up to one's beliefs. With a top notch melody, Peace and Love is a wonderful continuation of the sentiments in the Nick Lowe/Elvis Costello What's So Funny About Peace Love and Understanding, sung by Sam with a heartfelt urgency. Poverty Sucks could have been an acoustic folk strut on Led Zeppelin 3, except for the lovely Sam/Janet harmonies on the chorus, and lyric content which makes it clear whose side of the economic scale Sam Coomes is on.

Death Culture Blues continues Sam's flirtation with the blues, with stomping, off kilter rhythms and chromatic counterpoint popping in just before the vocals start, giving a big shot of energy as the album comes to a close. The topper and show stopper is the closing track, Invisble Star, which slowly builds from a hymn to a furious Robin Troweresque guitar workout, coming to rest amongst shattering distorion and feedback. This band has made it clear that they are not about repeating the past. The adventure continues.
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3.0 out of 5 stars pleasing...3.5 stars July 23, 2006
By S. R.
Format:Audio CD
Sam Coomes has taken many a shot at the country's current administration in albums past, deserved shots I might add, but goes back into a meat and potatos mode and delivers (along with Janet Weiss) a rabid slab of noisey rock with just a sliver of delicate melody intertwined. "Alice the Goon" gets the effort off to a piano ponding start that moves easily into Coomes best vocal melody on the effort. Track 2, "The Rhino", keeps the calamity going until the simmering scream of the album's title track. Part of Coomes appeal to me is his and Weiss' ability to continually lead the listener almost too far into the void of their menagerie of sounds and rythm only to be brought back into sanity with Coomes unique chord changes struggling to be logical amid the chaos.... It may sound slap-dash at times to many, but it's a very clever approach to rock and roll, especially amid all the blues-based rock throughout rock's brief history. All in all just another very good Quasi effort, lots of noise, thundering rythms, and another clever batch of Coomes lyrics. It's my favorite release of the Spring '06.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another great record from Quasi February 27, 2009
Format:Audio CD
Sam and Janet do it again! If you like their earlier work this album will be right down your alley. Poppy ballads with bone-crunching lyrics, with many wonderful jabs at the Bush regime. Great stuff.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars merely okay April 3, 2006
Format:Audio CD
I had some slight expectations from this record, and they were not quite met. The entire album is simply messy, and intentionally so. There are melodies in here, and the loud, garish production (see Sleater-Kinney's "The Woods") is very well done and interesting, but I never feel like returning to it.

I'm not a fan of those who annoyingly whine for the past. In this case, it'd be someone pining for the "Featuring 'Birds'" era, a return to more obvious melodies and cleaner production, better lyrcism (the lyrics on "When the Going.." are occasionally embarrassing) and a more acidic sense of humor.

However, I would be lying if I claimed to not share those same feelings. "When the Going Gets Dark" is a good album, but nothing special, and not the greatest sign for those who liked the band before "Hot S***." It's more obvious than ever that the glory days are well over.
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3 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Just when you thought they hit rock bottom.. March 22, 2006
Format:Audio CD
Here is a band that ran out of steam 5 years ago. The only 2 albums of theirs worth getting is "Featuring Birds" and "Field Studies". At least those albums featured catchy melodies. When I thought they reached their nadir with their last album (whose title was relatively apt), they plunge deeper into the abyss. Sam Coomes "vocals" come across way too annoying and whiney and smug. At least this time around, vitriolic Coomes isn't crying about the current administration nearly as much as he did in the recent past.
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