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Living Colour - Stain

(Vinyl LP)

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1993's Stain is the third Epic release by storming New York-based band Living Colour and last for a decade. Like its predecessors (platinum 1988 debut Vivid and gold 1990 sophomore effort Time's Up), Stain exhibits Living Colour's high-temperature mix of hard rock energy and funk-inflected rhythm, social conscience and unfettered emotion. Guided by producer Ron Saint Germain (Bad Brains, Soundgarden, Sonic Youth), Stain features 13 Living Colour originals: gritty rockers that prove "the personal is political" with a brand of furious grace that only this band can muster.

Vernon Reid noted: "There's a theme here of outsiders, of outcasts, of flawed characters – because a stain is a flaw. I think we all have the stain of original sin as well, and that's a theme here too." Titles like "Go Away," "Ignorance Is Bliss," "Mind Your Own Business," "Never Satisfied" and "Nothingness" mark a darkening of the group's collective vision, couched in some of the most elegantly crafted and thunderously acute playing of their career. As always, the music emanates from a distinctly personal, wary-yet-wised-up point of view, without hyperbole or pretension.

"These songs have a directness in the groove of them and the heaviness of them," Reid explained. "The joy of life is in this recording, in the way the four of us are interacting. This record doesn't put you in a bag and tell you to stay there. As writers, we're trying to be less self-righteous, to come down off the soapbox."

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