642. Spacemen 3 - Playing With Fire (1989)
2. Comedown Softly To My Soul
3. How Does It Feel
4. I Believe It
6. Let Me Down Gently
7. So Hot
9. Lord Can You Hear Me
This is how you buck the 80s trend and do something retro and referential while still making it your own Mr. Kravitz. Spacemen 3 give us psychedelia, electronica, Can-like tracks (How Does It Feel?), Stooges tributes (Revolution), even Suicide tributes (Suicide) but even if it wears its influences on its sleeve all the tracks sound like Spacemen 3.
These references are part of what makes the album so great, in fact the mix of those influences is pretty great, and because it is a mix of very disparate things like the Stooges and Can it becomes interesting, they are never derivative in the sense of copying one artist, they create a very interesting mix.
There is a minimalism running throughout the album that gives the tracks a layered feeling as the simple melodic lines interweave through it, something that they seem to have learned from the Germans like Can, Neu, Faust and even Kraftwerk but that they can integrate into an individual style of music, they sounds like Spacemen 3 and definitely British.
2. How Does it Feel?
Song titles, lyrics and interviews were peppered with references to bands and artists they believed shared their “minimal is maximal” aesthetic. The Velvet Underground, the Rolling Stones, the Stooges, the MC5, early Captain Beefheart, out-there jazz legend Sun Ra, the Silver Apples, garage punk of the 1960s such as the 13th Floor Elevators, Red Krayola, and the Electric Prunes; the Beach Boys, Jan and Dean and other surf bands; ’80s rockabilly groups the Cramps, the Gun Club, Tav Falco; blues and gospel acts like Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley, the Staple Singers and John Lee Hooker; and the production techniques of Joe Meek, Brian Wilson and Delia Derbyshire were just some of the names mentioned by the band.