Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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The Leaving Trains

  • Well Down Blue Highway [Enigma, 1984] B
  • Kill Tunes [SST, 1986] B+
  • Loser Illusion Pt. 0 [SST, 1991] A-
  • Lump in My Forehead [SST, 1992] Neither
  • Sleeping Underwater Survivors [SST, 1992] Dud

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Well Down Blue Highway [Enigma, 1984]
Side one does honor to the straight (nonhippie/nonhardcore/nonbiz) bohemianism of X, the Gun Club, and Chris D. Cruder and sloppier than X, as you'd guess if not hope, and a lot less pretentious than the other two, with songs that stay with you long enough to make you ponder Falling James's unhistrionic take on impending doom. That's side one. Side two is neopsychedelic drone. B

Kill Tunes [SST, 1986]
Where once Falling James Moreland inclined his raggedy band toward blues, here he rediscovers his roots: punk. If the whole album were punchy put-downs it wouldn't be the answer to our problems. But it'd give Falling James's poetry a break. B+

Loser Illusion Pt. 0 [SST, 1991]
Not exactly original, if that's what you call that monkey on your back--the six tracks run Ramones, Pistols, Jim Carroll, Angry Samoans, Replacements, Green on Red. Classic Ramones, Pistols, etc.--Pistols song goes: "Fuck you, God! I'm already living in hell." Punk lives, eats itself, or whatever. I love it. A-

Lump in My Forehead [SST, 1992] Neither

Sleeping Underwater Survivors [SST, 1992] Dud