Album...Review? Soul Asylum's "Delayed Reaction"

Album...Review? Soul Asylum's "Delayed Reaction"

  • Article by: Sean Maloney
  • Posted: 07/12/2012

I review records. Lots of records. Some of them I'm looking forward to, some of them, um, not so much. But rarely do I dread having to listen to them. Sure, I volunteered to review the new Soul Asylum album Delayed Reaction (7/17/12, 429 Records), mostly out of some morbid curiosity, but I just can't seem to bring myself to press that play button. I'm staring at the cover and the cover is staring at me. Maybe it's because I've recently reviewed a bunch of great records from some of my favorite artists from the Modern Rock era – Redd Kross, Drivin' N Cryin', Bailterspace – that I'm a tad hesitant to dive into a band that I swore I would never listen to again.

Now mind you it's been more than a dozen years since I made that promise – probably made because I was too punk rock for my own good and I'm still prone to not backing down from even my dumbest declarations –  but it's still preventing me from clicking from one window to the next and giving this audio stream the spin I promised it. What if it's an entire album of Runaway Trains? What if I decide I want someone to shove and the only person around is myself and I just happen to go through the window? What happens if I actually like it and have to renege on roughly two decades of stubborn, prideful – possibly baseless – opinion? I mean, I did really like Clam Dip & Other Delights for a minute there. 

So there's only one solution, which is coincidentally the same solution that got me to study in college: Make a drinking game out of it! So pour yourself a stiff one – I've got myself a rum and coke, but use whatever beverage you prefer, (especially if you prefer grain alcohol) – and join me on a dark, possibly life-threatening journey to the end of Delayed Reaction.

*The Rules of The Delayed Reaction Drinking Game:

Take 1 drink just so you can get up the courage to press play.

Take 2 drinks if you ordered Thai and watched about half of an art mystery/alien conspiracy documentary before pressing play.

Take 1 drink for each cigarette you smoked between your first shot and actually pressing play. (Three, in this case.)

Take 1 drink for sackin' up and actually starting this record. You're a champ! Great work!

Take 1 drink if you're pleasantly surprised that “Gravity” sounds like the Soul Asylum you  remember fondly.

Take 2 drinks if it doesn't. 

Take 1 drink if you haven't thought about Winona Ryder yet.

Take 1 drink if you're thankful that there wasn't much of an internet to post your My So Called Life fan fiction on back in the day.

Take 2 drinks if you've made it to the bridge of “Into the Light” and have already thought about putting on a Hüsker Dü record.

Take 3 drinks if you've had enough self-restraint to not search YouTube for videos from the recent Die Kreuzen reunion. Have you heard those Sugar reissues on Merge? Take a drink, dude.

Did “By The Way” remind you of that episode of South Park where they explain what it feels like to be old?

Did you just walk away and smoke another cigarette? You didn't, did you? Don't worry, the guitar solo is the only thing that isn't groan-worthy on “Pipe Dream.” Swig away, buddy boy.

Drink again if “Let’s All Kill Each Other” makes you feel like you're in D.A.R.E. Again.

So wait a second. You're saying that the alien/zombie/artist guy was a HAM radio operator? What does that have to do with the painter from Philadelphia?

Oh, awesome. I was always hoping that Soul Asylum would do a song for the Weather Channel. 

Drink if you were old enough to see Cruel Intentions in the theater. 

Drink another if “Cruel Intentions” reminds you of the guy that hangs out at Guitar Center every weekend rocking smooth jams and never buying anything.

Take a drink if you're thinking it's time to maybe clean your bathroom. Or call your mom.

Take a drink for every OJ Simpson joke you thought of when you found out they put a song called “The Juice” on a record. Double that if they were all from rap lyrics.

You know what would be awesome right now? Some Replacements.

Take a drink if you ended up stopping the album two songs early and watching those Die Kruezen reunion videos. Damnit, Die Kreuzen are great. I mean, “Man in the Trees.” Dude, if I had to pick one reunited Minneapolis band that has some sort of dreadlocks thing going on at some time in their career, it would totally be Die Kreuzen. I mean, really. It's no contest. 

You know what I haven't listened to in a while? Tesco Vee and The Meatkrew’s Dutch Hercules. Shit.

Wait, the tile-zombie guy was driving around with an antenna on his car, interrupting people's TVs? I'm confused as hell.

Take 2 drinks if you just remembered that you were supposed to be reviewing the new Soul Asylum record.

Take 1 drink if you've begun to wonder whether you'll still have this gig in the morning.

Take 2 if you care.

Take 4 if you're too drunk to care.

Take 1 for pressing play again. You deserve it.

Take 1 if you regret leaving that Die Kreuzen video to listen to “Take Manhattan.”

Take 2 if the string intro to “I'm Going to Stay in Bed All Day” is giving you the spins.

And since we're seeing this thing through to its ugly and inevitable end, drink if you want to hurl every time whatshisnamesingerfaceguy growls “throooooowww.” And take two when he rhymes black with black.

Drink if you aren't sure if he rhymed black with black. 

Drink if you're sure that you can make it to the bathroom without hurling.

And then pour one out for the dead homies. Why not? Fuck it. You just made it through the new Soul Asylum record.

*Don't try this at home.

Soul Asylum - "Cruel Intentions"

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