When I think of Th’ Faith Healers, my mind reels back to a condominium in Newtown, Pennsylvania, where a late teen/early-twenties buddy of mine lived with his mother. Their debut LP, Lido, would spin ad infinitum there while bong loads of righteous boo and other narcotics were stupidly consumed. Their cover of “Mother Sky” made me pester my brother to finally let me borrow all his Can records, and I consider the disc one of the many eye-openers in my whole pointless musical journey. Have I listened to it in the past ten years? Of course not. To be honest, I think I might have sold it off years ago. So, at this point in my life, hearing these tracks they recorded for the dearly departed Mr. Peel has been strange: lots of cringes and half-smiles, but that could just be me.
Where many limey contestants in the early-’90s My Bloody Valentine sweepstakes were trying to collapse under the weight of their pop sensibilities with junked-up surging guitars, these sessions (recorded 1992–1994) prove these chumps had no desire to control the sounds were blurting out off their sunny mushroom cloud. Tom Cullinan’s beefy guitar wallop still manages to deteriorate the gray walls of everything surrounding it, and tracks like “Get The F**k Out Of My Face” and “Ooh La La” keep such a tight clench on early-’80s U.K. punk, you’d think this shit came out on the Riot City or No Future labels.
Nostalgia is a concoction I never want to taste, so I’m in total denial that it might be why I enjoy this disc so much. I mean, shit . . . the last thing I want to relive is smoking codeine and peeing my pants. Let’s just say there’s still room in my dark little heart for Th’ Faith Healers, for the mere reason they merged the dissident noise I loved as a young punker with the pop hooks that we all long for in our deepest dreams, no matter how many C.O.C. records we ever owned.
Th’ Faith Healers play Mercury Lounge March 29.