The indie/hard rock band Small Ball Paul formed in St. Louis in 1990. Lead by guitarist and lead vocalist Jeff Wendle the band also consisted of Jesse Gilsinger (guitar and vocals), Maureen Relling (bass and vocals) and Sean Younger (drums).
With their explosive twin-guitar crunch, some small-scale tape circulation and two 7-inch singles to their credit the band soon developed a strong local following.
They signed with Thirsty Ear Records in late 1992 and in 1993 they toured the East and Midwest with grunge band Love Battery.
In 1993 they released, the Paul Mahern produced (Afghan Whigs and Vulgar Boatmen), four-song Small Ball Paul EP.
Produced by Lou Giordano (Bats, Eleventh Dream Day, Sugar and Yo La Tengo) the band’s 1994 debut full-length You In Flames was described by some critics as
“gut wrenching, propulsive anthems that strip away at pretense, leaving nothing behind but fiery guitar bluster, frayed nerves and riffs that stick like glue.”
There’s more then a touch of hyperbole in such a statement, because all its “crisp drums and blaring guitars,” and strong songs like “Like Swallows,” “Can’t Take Their Place,” and “Gotta Change.” weren’t enough inducement to get enough record buyers to buy You In Flames, a hybrid of Seattle grunge meeting late period X.
Twenty years past and with Grunge now in our rear view mirror You In Flames proves an enjoyable listen, representing a path that 90s music might have taken if not for our then fascination with all things Grunge.
“Like Swallows” AP: Indie-Gestion, Volume 3 (CD) Alternative Press 1999
You In Flames (1993)
Playing Time: 41:49
1. The Shed (4:03)
2. Like Swallows (4:13)
3. Left In il (stay) (3:32)
4. The Quiet Lady (4:16)
5. Can’t Take Their Place (5:20)
6. Sunflowers (4:22)
7. Drip (3:26)
8. Gotta Change (2:58)
9. Canyons (3:59)
10. Mr. Sunshine (5:40)
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