Om Pale Saints
The Pale Saints arrived at the turn of the '90s, when it seemed every English band was awash in feedback and mopey-eyed, heavenly vocals. The Pale Saints' debut single, "Barging in the Presence of God," and the accompanying record, The Comforts of Madness, signaled a change of events with the arrival of Ian Masters and company. Constantly switching gears in terms of tempo and dynamics, they tended a bit more toward the art school aesthetic than the simple loud/soft sounds and ocean/sky lyrical images of most of their shoegazing contemporaries. The band hit its creative high-point in 1992 with In Ribbons, which featured Ian Masters' choir boy vocals and his penchant for unsettling instrumentals and organic sound loops set against gliding, somber music box melodies, bells, strings, vibraphones and the ever-present feedback. His gothic sensibilities, increasingly odd classical-like compositions, and experimentation (vinyl releases of In Ribbons contained versions of their songs as interpreted by a high school marching band) saw him depart from the band to begin the equally engaging Spoonfed Hybrid. The Pale Saints recorded another record without him, which had beautiful pop moments, but lacked Masters' creative arrangements and songwriting.