Even before they had made a single noise, Spiritualized‘s moves were being closely watched by discerning music fans and press alike by virtue of front man Jason Pierce and his previous musical vehicle Spacemen 3. And whilst their droning, pedal heavy, shoegazing and tremolo driven sound would warp and shift to absorb many genres, particularly, gospel and blues, and reference the Phil Spectre “wall of sound” approach, Fucked Up Inside is where it all began.
The album was originally released in 1993 and was only available via mail order so it is only right that this forgotten first chapter and opening salvo in the form of a seven track live album finally gets a proper commercial launch. It does so courtesy of Glass Redux in full vinyl glory.
Take Good Care of It sets the scene perfectly with its blends of haunting blues harmonica, cavernous guitars and saxophones that run from E Street Band crescendos to smooth jazz motifs and from here the album pushes through a wailing, apocalyptic blues-scape. I Want You offers more driven and groovesome options and as the show heads towards its conclusion Shine A Light and Smiles show the bands more orchestral nature with long languid, instrumental sections. The latter track making the perfect frantic dash to the finishing post via squalling, gratuitous sax, howling guitars and keyboards dancing in unholy harmony and the rhythm section pounding out a tribal beat.
Spiritualized would explore many genres over the course of subsequent albums but this is the sound of the band’s first tentative steps as they emerge from the shadow of Spacemen 3. Both as a historical sonic document, as a calling card for what was to follow and just as a great slice of a band playing what must have been a mesmerising show, Fucked Up Inside is a must for fans of alternative rock…before that was even a thing!