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Articles Home » 1993 Articles » It's Alive - 1993 Earthquake Visions
 
It's Alive - 1993 Earthquake Visions



ARTIST: It's Alive
ALBUM: Earthquake Visions
LABEL: Music For Nations
SERIAL: CDMFN-177
YEAR: 1993

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Martin White - vocals & tambourine * Per Aldeheim - guitars & backing vocals * Kim Bjorkrgren - guitars * Gus - drums * John Rosth - keyboards * Peter Kahm - bass

TRACK LISTING: 01 Give Us A Place * 02 Someone In The House * 03 I'm Your Man * 04 Play That Funky Music * 05 Pretend I'm God * 06 Sing This Blues * 07 Wild * 08 Metalapolis * 09 Maybe You Are But I'm Not * 10 Pain * 11 There Is Something * 12 Where I * 13 Parasite


Background
The first half of the 1990s was awash with melodic funk metal bands. There were those who made it into the big leagues and those who didn't (hey, anyone remember the mighty Kingofthehill?). Extreme sold millions of copies of what I've always considered patchy albums, while the very cool Dan Reed Network were virtually ignored by everyone. Also in the long list of those which should've hit the big time comes Sweden's Its Alive, whose second album (though first to get a full release) 'Earthquake Visions' always showed great promise and has aged remarkably well.


The Songs
Right from the opening bars of 'Give Us A Place' with its 'get up, get up' chant, this is a seriously 'good time' album. 'Give' has a classic funk grooved arrangement on the verses, coupled with a huge chorus which has huge backing vocals. The featured guitar solo sits more than comfortably and it's one of those fairly old fashioned ones.. The early 1990s saw more than it's fair share of Scandinavians with cool guitarists, so Its Alive were in good company! 'Someone In The House' and 'I'm Your Man' are possibly the weakest tracks on offer in my opinion, as compared to the rest of the album they are a little paint-by numbers, though 'I'm Your Man' in particular could've fit rather well on the Electric Boys debut, 'Funk-O-Metal Carpet Ride'. 'Pretend I'm God' was one of three singles to be taken from the album. If I recall, the video had singer Martin White tied to a crucifix. Quite funny, though doubtless it probably upset some people! The song itself is classic It's Alive - solid funk groove, huge sing-along chorus and some very tongue-in-cheek lyrics. 'Sing This Blues' features one of the best vocal performances from the album. The smoother musical arrangement brings out the vocal - another single release, its definitely a winner. Another song with a more throwaway quality (a la 'Someone In The House'), 'Wild' was originally featured on the band's self-titled debut, which did not make it very far past the promotional stage.. so, happy hunting folks! Despite its disposable feel, in terms of funk it's up there with most of the album. I'll give it about a 7+ on the funkometer.. 'Metalapolis' and 'Pain' are fairly aggressive on all fronts, but still manage to remain totally melodic. During 'Metalapolis', Martin gives Prince a nod of approval as he quips 'shut up already', a phrase originally used by the short bloke on his 'Sign O' The Times' double set from 1987. 'Pain' is huge with it's bottom-end riff and in-your-face delivery. Bettencourt, Cherone and Co should definitely have been taking notes.. 'Pain' is most definitely my favourite track here - though 'Sing This Blues' comes a very close second. 'There Is Something' has more than a Dan Reed feel to it, being more reliant on its rhythmic groove during the verse sounding a lot like classic Network from their 'Slam' album (another album no collection should be without). The album finishes off with 'Where I' which has a lot in common with the album opener 'Give Us A Place', so that brings every thing full circle. A great album for many reasons. If you like the funky stuff and you haven't already checked it out, then you really need to do so. As a footnote, the Music for Nations reissue features two bonus tracks: a cover off the classic Kiss song 'Parasite', and a very chunky version of the old Wild Cherry chestnut, 'Play That Funky Music', which is neither big nor clever but seems to work well for the band anyway.


In Summary
The future should've been bright for these guys, but sadly, it never really happened. I've no idea what happened to the rest of the band, but in the late 1990s, Martin White (now calling himself Max Martin) became an incredibly successful songwriter, penning the Britney Spears multi-million seller 'Baby One More Time'.. Now, if Britney would only have a stab at covering 'Give Up A Place' or 'Pain', that'd be something to see!!!


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Comments
#1 | reyno-roxx on January 17 2016 11:47:08
With Max Martin in the band It's Alive were one of the best live bands I have ever seen.
 
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