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BLUE IN HEAVEN (Buy CDs by this artist)
All the God's Men (Island) 1985
Explicit Material (Island) 1986
Rock 'n' Roll R.I.P. EP (Solid) 1988

Although this young Irish quartet debuted on 45 with a fiery guitar anthem ("Julie Cries"), an inappropriate choice of producer (Martin Hannett) for their first album turned them into bass-heavy doom mongers. A remix of the single on All the Gods' Men tells the whole sordid tale. A little light does shine through in "Sometimes," "The Big Beat" and "In Your Eyes," but Hannett's lush atmospherics detract from, rather than complement, the effort.

The second record was co-produced by Island Records chief Chris Blackwell, Eric Thorngren and the band to far more appealing effect. Guitars power the mostly melodic songs along without overly coloring them; Shane O'Neill's vocals provide the strongest character. Amidst the attractive pop, Shane's avowed Iggy fixation comes through on the grungy "Be Your Man" (which also mentions a familiar canine variation).

The multi-personality EP chronologically straddles the band's major-label career, with a derivative 1983 track ("On and On") produced by the Edge and three '87 studio efforts (light pop, ponderous plodding and Iggy-styled rock). Rounding off this strange package is a dull live '87 take on the Stooges' "Loose."

[Altricia Gethers/Ira Robbins]