Blind Ear - HOT 1046
"Blind Ear"
  • Fifth studio album. Most successful to date
  • Released : May, 1989 Formats : CD, LP, MC Cat No : HOT 1046
  • Produced by : Kent Steedman & Adrian Bolland
  • Engineered by : Adrian Bolland
  • Recorded at : EMI Studios 301, Sydney
  • General Comments : Re-mastered for CD in 1994. All formats originally released by Truetone / EMI (792077). CD and LP also released under licence by Rattlesnake (Rat 503). CD re-released by HOT in 1999 with a slightly different cover.
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    Track Listing
  • Johnny
  • World Keeps Turning
  • Electravision Mantra
  • Dial Om
  • Wonderful Life '88
  • Sean O'Farrell
  • Belfast
  • Cycle
  • They're Killing Us All (To Make The World Safe)
  • O Salvation - hear a 49 second Sound Sample of this track
  • El Salvador
  • Fish And Trees

    Despite Kent's statements about how he felt the band could, if they wanted to, sign to a major label and tone down their act without it constituting a sellout, it only takes one listen to this to conclude that they didn't want to! The result is an LP that kicks as firmly as last year's "Roman Beach Party" and fits into their existing catalog as cleanly as if they were still on the HOT label. Photo : Back cover of Blind Ear

    Not everything is at the pace of "Tubular Greens", but they haven't been doing that for a long time anyway. Things like Sean O'Farrell are a logical extension of where they've been's a hard edged song in places, but brings in some string bits (probably synthesizer) to fill in in spots. The result works great; a song with a real dynamic feel that ebbs and flows. But nobody is going to deny the crunching energy of Belfast, Electravision Mantra and El Salvador...these songs pack a punch! Lyrically the band are obviously sharpening their focus on what ought to be fixed in the world, which is a great thing in my book...there's nothing better than words that cut set to music that rips (are you listening Jello Biafra?).

    The Rifles grasp of the world is impressive...they are aware of global problems, and they're also aware of personal problems, and they sing about both with equal perception. Their consciousness is reaching a state that's more radical than the Clash ever were: lines like "They're killing us all to make the world safe/I wonder why I don't feel grateful" or "They're dyin' in the streets of El Salvador/Got an overdose of America" keep popping out at you. There's a real appreciation in this band for what the world used to be and could be if man would just get his act together.

    Of course, the words are only half the story; the songs themselves alternate between hard rocking numbers and a few slower things, but even the slower tracks are powerful...the guitar is always strong, and the drumming is the best of any Rifles record to date. This is especially apparent on the remake of Wonderful Life which was great on "Roman Beach Party" but here gets some slight alterations...a sharper drum bit here, a cooler bass line there, and a new ending, and the result is I like the new one even better.

    There's killer guitar riffs on lots of the songs ...check out the metal-cum-gospel/ragtime revival of O'Salvation. The record closes out with the one true non-Rifles type song on the record, a bluegrass sort of thing called Fish and Trees that in addition to some poignant lyrics has some of the coolest guitar playing for this sort of thing I've ever heard. This is a cool as hell record, and one you need. Now.

    -Noise For Heroes, Spring/Summer 1989

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