In 1992 I was in my second year of law school and bemoaning the face that cool bands never come to Oxford, Mississippi. In the early 90’s, grunge was in its early years and Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit was in heavy rotation on MTv (for you younger readers, there was a time when MTv only showed music videos and it was excellent). It was also in 1992 that Failure released their first studio album, Comfort. The lineup of Ken Andrews, Greg Edwards, and Kellii Scott went on to release two other well-received studio albums but label problems arose and affected their ability to release further albums. Failure disbanded due to personal differences in 1997.
All three remained active in the music industry – either as performers or in the recording industry. They decided to reunite in 2013 and after releasing an EP and opening for Tool, they released the crowd source-funded The Heart is a Monster in June of 2015 and hit the road to promote both the new album and their return. I was luck to catch them last month at the Mercury Ballroom in Louisville, Kentucky, and can happily report that neither time nor personal differences have had a negative effect on Failure.
Leading off with Hot Traveler, the first single off the new album, Failure continued to play a combination of their old albums and the new, and the two-hour show was a success. Although the crowd was small, it was composed of people like me who remembered Failure and were delighted to see them back with a new album. While some of their space-themed music bogged down the show in the middle and towards the end, they returned with an encore of flat-out rock and quickly jump-started the crowd.
If you enjoy Tool and Perfect Circle, you should give Failure a try. Like those groups, their lyrics are a bit on the dark and biting side. So take a chance and try something new!
Failure will be appearing at the Aftershock Festival in Sacramento, California, on October 25th, 2015, and have been added to Australia’s Soundwave line-up.
You can listen to “Hot Traveler” here –
All photographs except banner copyright Tara Pitts