For a minute there in the early nineties, the wonderful Life Sex & Death were THE NEXT BIG THING. During that grimy period where Grunge was taking over the world in 1992, it seemed that anyone could become superstar if they had the songs and the talent – even that homeless guy in the front of the studio. Yes, that was the unique selling point here, the band had apparently met singer Stanley (no surname) when he stumbled into the studio. He was essentially an unwashed (literally, the press was always telling us of his ‘lice’) Tom Waits, but like Waits he had a glorious rough voice and their one album was a glorious classic. Ladies and gentlemen, The Silent Majority.
I remember reading an interview with the band in Kerrang! and they were also featured heavily on Headbangers Ball, so I grabbed the album as soon as I could. It was/is glorious.
The fact that instead of opening their album with their Teen Spirit, they began with a live ballad called ‘Blue Velvet Moon’ tells you all you need to know. The fact that just around the corner they had massive anthems galore was just another example of the playful punks kicking against the system, whilst simultaneously being signed to Warners.
‘School’s For Fools’ was another massive anthem and ‘Telephone Call’ brought the record back down to Nebraska Springsteen levels, if Bruce lived outside the studio and blacked out during gigs. Stanley was truly one of a kind. He even had his own Tramp Anthem ‘Fuckin’ Shit Ass’, where in he was abused and had his money stolen by the titular son of a bitch. It’s a stormer.
Aaaand then they were gone, as quickly as they arrived. The band were in all the magazines, they were featured twice in Beavis And Butthead and Stanley was getting all of the press, not necessarily for all the right reasons. But if you have never heard The Silent Majority, you should go track it down. It’s a monster.