Preview: Soul Asylum


Soul Asylum are best known for 1988's Hang Time LP, a bristling collection of guitar-driven pop songs. Now back with the optimistically entitled Grave Dancers Union, they remain largely underrated. I found, listening to the new album, that there is a lot of sadness there in a strangely uplifting way.

"More depressing, more wry, but, yeah, there's a feeling of redemption," offers guitarist Daniel Murphy. "We've been doing this for a few years and we've been thrown a lot of loops."

Vocalist Dave Pirner is the principal songwriter. How does he approach his work?

"I think that I go out of my way to avoid writing pappy, fuckin' love songs, and dance songs, and sex songs," he explains. "But it's always a flushing out process. Music should be a little bit more than personal experience."

It's a process that works for Soul Asylum, and, as Pirner says, they have a rich history of music that is distinctly unique and distinctly their own to draw upon.

Mark Liddell
Riff Raff
May, 1993

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