Prior to Audience With the Mind
, the House of Love
had grown accustomed to long recording processes that did their heads in and resulted in bad blood and lost members. So as a change of pace, they recorded this in less than two weeks -- the amount of time it usually took them to lay down a guitar overdub. It was a good idea for the band to make a record that wasn't too precious and overwrought for a (relatively) small sum of cash -- it seemed like a smart formula, and a bit of a working vacation for the likes of obsessive leader Guy Chadwick
. In the end, it made for the least of their studio albums, but it isn't without a couple bright spots. The lead track, "Sweet Anatomy," dusts off an old B-side and speeds it up, pumping more life into it; it transforms a decent scrap to a filling main course, and it's one of the band's finest moments. After that, however, things fall apart. The songs are okay, but nothing has the delicate beauty of "Crush Me" or the knockout punch of "Destroy the Heart." Even more uncharacteristic are the two decent songs written by bassist Chris Groothuizen
, "Hollow" and "Erosion." The normally ego-mad Chadwick of 1987-1992 would have never allowed such a thing to happen. The band was certainly running on fumes; "Shining On" is in obvious reference to "Shine On," the band's biggest hit that had already surfaced in multiple versions. "Into the Tunnel" is an eight minute epic that is anything but. All said, the majority of the record doesn't compete with A Spy in the House of Love
, the band's B-side compilation. Not with a bang but a whimper, and a somewhat dismal closing chapter for the band.