Soul Asylum
Grave Dancers Union


3.0
good

Review

by indietrash USER (27 Reviews)
December 17th, 2006 | 35 replies


Release Date: 1992 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A variated, and very good album from the criminally underrated grunge act Soul Asylum.

Grave Dancers Union is Soul Asylum's seventh album. This album spent 76 weeks on the Billboard music charts and was certified double-platinum in 1993. "Why?", you ask? Let me tell you "why".

When people talk of Soul Asylum, you might've noticed that it's "Runaway Train" this, and "Runaway Train" that. On which album do you find this magnificent piece of music? Yep. You stand correct. It's track #3 on Grave Dancers Union.
Lots of you who'll buy this album, will buy it only to get that very track. Will you be disappointed with the rest of the album? You just might. Apart from "The Sun Maid" and maybe "Homesick" and "Without A Trace", there's no other track that's as slow and calm as "Runaway Train" is. This album is in general way more punchy than that, but just as passionate. Tracks like "99%" and "April Fool" are likely to require a second listen, if you expected 12 "Runaway Train"s.
But is this a bad thing? Do we miss 11 more "Runaway Train"s?
No! We surely don't!

Don't get me wrong, I like "Runaway Train". It's one of the very best tracks on this album, in my opinion. But don't go and buy this - and complain about how awful the rest of the album is. 'Cause it really ain't that bad. It's just not quite what'cha expected. Dave Pirner demonstrates a broad repertoire, making this a very variated album - with many impressing songs. All the songs really stand out, and none of them sound alike. Not every track is equally good, but they all stand out. This makes this album have a little something for everyone. But it also, consequently, makes the album, as a whole, not being too appealing for everyone. Most people will find their favourites, and skip the rest of the tracks. Whilst some off you will actually enjoy the whole album, though you'll only be a small fraction of the buyers.

This album contains some very catchy, melodic and beautiful songs like "Black Gold", "Without A Trace", "Growing Into You", and... *sigh* "Runaway Train". It also contains some punchy material, though. To name examples, there's "99%" and "April Fool", as mentioned - and "Keep It Up", "Black Gold" as well.
Notice that I mentioned "Black Gold" both on the melodic, and the punchy list? Actually, I could mention nearly 10 of the tracks (excluding "The Sun Maid" and "Runaway Train") on both lists, with no amount of trouble. 'Cause although being very different, all the tracks have that melodic, catchy, punchy feel to them, that makes up the Soul Asylum sound. This is most evident on the brilliant masterpiece of a song that is "Somebody to Shove". This opening song really gets your hopes up. And, sadly, none of the other songs really are as good as this track.

It has its ups and it has its downs. Grave Dancers Union makes an interesting listen nevertheless. I'd recommend this album to the open-minded rock fan. 'Cause that's what this essentially is. Rock'n roll. Guitars, bass and drums. Kind of ordinary, but still it has something special to it. Like most successful rock bands do. There's those melodic fine guitar-riffs. The variated drumming (there's two drummers playing ca. half of the album each). The creative bass lines. And perhaps most evident, the unique vocals. Dave Pirner has a unique set of pipes. It's that raspy vocals of his that makes Soul Asylum really recognizable, along with the melodic grunge sound.

So go buy the album, if you like grungy poppy rock'n roll, and also happen to appreciate ballads and those more edgier grunge tracks. Soul Asylum definitely is one of the most underestimated grunge bands, ever.





RECOMMENDED TRACKS:

Somebody to Shove
Without a Trace
Runaway Train
Black Gold



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user ratings (60)
Chart.
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
The Sludge
December 17th 2006


2169 Comments


Haven't heard the cd. Runaway Train is a very, very rightious song though.

Nice review/votes.

deroeckj
November 19th 2009


69 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

review could have used some more background of the music and the band. Their long indie history, their rather classic songwriting. But overall a satisfying review.

Still like that cd, it sold very well, but it is also logic the band is a bit underrated,
1. they never made an album as good as this one later on (Hang time is from 1988 !)
2. back in 1993 it was all about Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Metallica.

BigHans
May 19th 2010


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This needs more love from Sputnik.

random
July 10th 2010


2270 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I love Somebody To Shove too.

random
September 2nd 2010


2270 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is a great album, but Somebody To Shove is my favorite Soul Asylum song.

Athom
Staff Reviewer
September 2nd 2010


17231 Comments


one of the best 90s albums


random
November 6th 2010


2270 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think I already mentioned how much this album rules.

BigHans
November 6th 2010


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

so did I

toxin.
January 6th 2011


12805 Comments


Runaway Train is good.
The rest of their music, I should look into.

CrazyFool84
March 10th 2011


1081 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

nice job on the review and for covering it in generally, pos'd


JesusChris
June 21st 2011


673 Comments


Runaway Train reminds me of It's Always Sunny.

Jarvig
August 31st 2011


168 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great light melodic semi grunge. Like the style and there are many good melodies on this album.

For me I really like: Runaway Train (off cause), Keep it Up and Homesick

A better album than what many thinks of this band does (did).

BigHans
August 31st 2011


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Somebody to Shove is one of the best 90s alt rock songs period.

BigHans
December 30th 2011


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

CAUSE IM WAITING BY THE PHONEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

BlackLlama
March 14th 2012


1706 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I may have to add my own review to this one. 3.5 is too low, at least in my opinion. This is, at least for me, one of those rare cd's I can put in, push play and enjoy on repeat.

random
July 20th 2012


2270 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"Somebody To Shove" is one of the greatest '90's songs.

BigHans
March 5th 2014


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

CAUSE IM WAITING BY THE PHONEEEEEEEEEEEE

WAITING FOR YOU TO CALL ME UP AND TELL ME IM NOT

ALONEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

Green Baron
March 5th 2014


20327 Comments


runaway train never going back

BigHans
March 5th 2014


26454 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

BLACK GOLD IN A

WHITE PLIGHT

WONT YOU FILL UP THE TANK LETS GO FOR A RIDE

Inveigh
March 5th 2014


25201 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

yeah this album rules hard


their stuff before this is pretty good too

Digging: Nero Di Marte - Derivae



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