Econoline Crush and the devil you should know……

Today’s lost gem stems from most of my musical influence coming from the 90’s era. This was personally a time of growing and exploring in the world. As I search back in the depths of my musical memory of lost gems, we go back to 1997. I will share with you one of my favorite industrial-rock finds. ‘The Devil You Know‘ by Econoline Crush is a monster of a release, that almost got the attention it deserved.

The album opens up with an immediate call to the listener with the track ‘Surefire‘. The song conveys the entire mood and adrenaline rush of the heavily grungy-industrial sounding album. Everything it offers is immediately heard, putting listeners at full attention.

The next track, ‘Sparkle And Shine‘ moves the hips and most likely head, with a fast tempo melody, to get even the fitness enthusiast moving. ‘Deeper‘ is a slower, more haunting and melodic piece that is perfect for a gray rainy day. It seems to paint the picture of a melancholy love blooming. Though now, we take a temporary tempo break, the next tracks ‘Hollowman‘ and ‘Home‘ speed the listener up again, true to sound, until we reach a signature masterpiece of a title track, ‘The Devil You Know‘.

One of my favorite tracks personally off the album, ‘The Devil You Know‘ paints a sonic picuture of a shady, behind the scenes character that beguiles the listener. This track itself is a great summary and or preview of the entire album for any person wanting to know what it’s all about. Lyrically, we see even maybe a mysterious mischivious part of the lyricist’s personality.

Of all the tracks on the album, only one locally got any radio play. ‘All That You Are (x3)‘ is a bomb that blasted off the radios to garner the ears of those eager for some ear candy that was un-conventional and fresh. The track is great, but does not do justice for all the other great ones included overall in the package. After an obvious more poppy sound from the latter, ‘Burnt‘ continues the spirit lyrically, adding our shady character’s attitude lyrically: “I don’t care“. This track inspires the inner anarchist in the listener, and makes you want more.

Haven’t Gone Away‘ is probably the most commercial sounding 90’s track of the album, followed by ‘Elegant‘ a more eclectic selection. Neither track is inferior to any of the others, it just makes the album a more solid unit. These two tracks wind us down, for our very potent finale, the author’s personal favorite, and hidden gem of the entire work.

Razorblades And Bandaides‘ is the story of a deeply felt grief, expressed sonically. A bittersweet melancholic tale, that left a scar in the heart of the author. “I miss you more than words could ever say“, lyrically sums up the whole song, a heartbreaking ending for an otherwise upbeat and maybe even maniacal album. But that’s what makes great art- a plethora of emotions and human experience. Did I think it would come to a bitter end? Though I play on the lyrics of that track, I certainly did not and maybe that’s what made the final impression, the un-expected ending. Tune in a little more and there is even some hidden speaking track in there afterwards.

Throughout time listeners and lovers of music seek a piece to inspire them. Touch them. Move them. To connect with on a personal level- and when that happens, that’s what ingrains memories of a nature as this one. If you are a fan of 90-s era industrial rock, ‘The Devil You Know‘ is a devil of an album that I highly recommend. If anything else, it is a wonderful sonic journey. Nasty, gritty, grungy-industrial. Just how I like it.

Malinda Mansfield