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Pony Express Record

4.7 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 13, 1994
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 13, 1994)
  • Original Release Date: September 13, 1994
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B0000029IV
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,465 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on August 25, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I was listening to Verve Pipe's new album the other day - when this very distinct voice in the background vocals kept tickling my ear. Sure enough it's Craig Wedrin, lead singer of Shudder To Think - one of the most progressive pioneers of late 20th century rock. All I can say is thank God somebody else noticed these guys. Just when you thought there was no more virgin territory for musicians to explore - these guys hijack the tour bus and fly it to mars. This album - which I consider STT's best - takes the rock and roll format paradigm and chucks it unabashedly out the window. It is definitely not for most tastes, but for true connesieurs of wicked hard, wicked funked-up, bleeding edge music - this album will nuke your neurons, melt your melon and squish your squash!! As previous reviews have said - it's hard to describe - but impossible to forget. As a musician You can crash your brain trying to contemplate how four musicians could actually sit together in a room and come up with this stuff!! The drum fill in "Chakka".... the lyrics to "Hit Liquor".... simply the title of the song "Gang of $"... this album is so genius it will TROUBLE YOU how musically inept it makes you feel!!
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Format: Audio CD
J. Nesker pretty much hit the nail on the head for how I felt about this album although I will admit that I have no idea who made "Loveless" by My Bloody Valentine. I first heard some early STT and thought they were OK. I then heard No Rm. 9, Kentucky on MTV and bought the CD. I listened to it a few times and was thoroughly bored. About a year later I started listening to it again and liked it a bit more. I really "got it" a few years after that to where it now has ascended to my #1 album of all time! The rest of my top 5 is in no particular order (Deftones - Adrenaline, Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream, Weezer - Pinkerton, and PJ Harvey - Dry).

One word of warning - a friend of mine whose musical tastes I highly respect listened to this cd and couldn't get past track 4 due to the fact that his ears were about to bleed. If you like harmonic dissonance and tension and release you'll think you died and gone to heaven.
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Format: Audio CD
This is a difficult record, but holds many rewards. The first cut, Hit Liquor, will definitely either beckon you in or make you scream for the door. The structures of the song are a bit wild, less cohesive, yet they work.
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Format: Audio CD
This album is, in my opinion- the most exciting, original rock album of the 90s. I've listened to it all VU to Sonic Youth and I'm telling you that Shudder to Think's Pony Express Record sounds like nothing else out there-the chords, the melodies, the vocals and rhythms especially. This is the closest 90s rock has come to genius. Just go and buy it. Allright if you really want comparisons I'll try. Imagine Fugazi backing Freddie Mercury's Queen singing dada poetry over beautiful songs arranged by Primus. See! Comparisons fail. In an age where any four shmucks can get 2 guitars, a bass and drums and a mike and call themselves a rock band. Shudder to Think are perhaps the only existing proof that creativity, talent and ORIGINALITY still exist in rock.
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Format: Audio CD
I've had this album since 1995, and unlike most of the albums I own from that era, it has steadily grown on me to the point that it is permanently stamped on my brain. I continue to go back to it, trying to figure it out. It's a musician's album, for sure. You have to think a little and submit to the album. But the amazing thing about it is that it is a pop album at it's core. Most progressive music (think Frank Zappa for example) seems to me to be a bunch notes for their own sake, to hear how they sound in succession and for the musicians to say "hey, look what we can do!" Shudder to Think took that progressive/jazz element and fused it with post-punk/emo/grunge. Who would have thought that would work?

Well, as time wore on, I never thought I'd get to see these songs performed live. I need that live performance for the music to really make sense. I need it for that permanent stamp on my brain I mentioned earlier. Seeing the performers makes it 100% real, not just music in my headphones. Shudder to Think recently reformed and played the Voodoo fest this past Saturday. My drummer and I drove from Houston to see them (and The Mars Volta, speaking of progressive!) Just like I figured, there was a small crowd of rabid fans there to witness it (as they were playing at the same time as Nine Inch Nails), and they blew us away. It was a priceless gift (to us and themselves, I'm sure) for them to revisit their past.

Now there is no doubt that when I revise my top 100 albums of all time list that this one will edge its way into the top 20, and that's saying something considering how much music I listen to and own. I mean, to get in the top 20 it will probably have to displace Led Zeppelin or David Bowie. That's how amazing this album is.
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Format: Audio CD
I can't think of a better way to comeback from losing half the band than putting out a major label debut like this.

The album lurches into the experience in typical Shudder fashion: no intros (or at least not anything not part of the actual first cut). The angularity brought over from Get Your Goat is present, pushed to its logical extreme, powered by a fresh guitar/drum duo and polished to a high sheen by Ted Nicely (produced first two Fugazi EP's plus first LP). However, by the breakdown, the track does manage to escape into a dreamy Wedrenspace for a few ethereal bars before being yanked back into the main thrust, operatic vocals and all.

The next track pushes the jazz chording into the chromatic/atonal, while the drums are still just getting warmed up. The third one explodes into full Shudder sassyness, complete with a blistering seven-four attack by Jawbox co-founder Adam Wade on drums and emulated cowbell hits on the six-string by Nathan Larson (ex-Swiz). By the time the album is halfway through, the production has found a way to send-up (brilliantly) every single expectation of a Shudder to Think record, as if that were actually possible. If Get Your Goat was as far as the original lineup could go, then this album has pushed the entire project to its limits. And, case in point, the band's next and last release (before they started doing soundtracks and side projects) was the anthemic and smooth-sailing multi-genre denouement, 50,000 BC.

At first listen, even people familiar with the previous material will be somewhat thrown for a loop. Not surprising that this came and went completely under the radar in its day, but certainly rewards repeated listening. In fact, it insists upon it.
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