Part 237 / REVIEW: Sven Gali – Inwire (1995)

Second of a two-part series, by request of reader Deke! This part grew so large that I ended up splitting it up between a review and a Record Store Tale. If you missed part one, Sven Gali (1993), click here.

RECORD STORE TALES Part 237:  Sven Gali – Inwire (and Peter the Rocker)

When Sven Gali released their anticipated second album Inwire, Peter the Rocker was not impressed.  Not in the least.  A few weeks after it came out, Peter stopped by the record store.  He picked up one of the M.E.A.T Magazines sitting on our front counter and opened it to a page.  He pointed.

“Have you heard this Sven Gali?” he asked me in a semi-shouted voice.

SVEN_0005“No I haven’t, I responded, “I’m waiting for a used copy.  I do have a four song sampler and it’s pretty good.”

“It blows,” he fired back, eyes wide.  “Sucks.  Shit.  Garbage.  Piece of fucking shit.”  He paused to take a breath.  “They fucking sold out man!  You know what they did?  It’s grunge.  It’s pure shit.”  He raised his hands on either side, as if to emphasize the weight of the turd that Sven Gali had laid.

“Seriously?” I queried.  “The songs I heard were OK…”

“Listen to me man.  It’s fucking shit.  Garbage.”

Alright then!

Peter the Rocker came in periodically over the months.  Sven Gali didn’t come up very often, but having heard it since that conversation, I was inclined to agree with Peter.  Maybe not to the same extremes, but we saw eye to eye, more or less .

A year or two after the initial conversation, Peter came in to the store once again to discuss Sven Gali.

“Guess who I fucking saw this weekend.”

Not having a clue, I shrugged my shoulders.  “I give up.  Who?”

“The fucking bassist from Sven Gali man!  Shawn.  I told him that second album fucking sucked man.”

I had to laugh at that.  “You did?  What did he say?”

“He fucking agreed with me man!  He said they sold out on that album.  He said they fucking sold out and went grunge!”

Take that as you will.  It’s an old story heard second hand from Peter the Rocker.  I wouldn’t use it as a Wikipedia source, but it does shed some light on the album we’re about to discuss.

SVEN_0006

SVEN GALI – Inwire (1995 BMG)

Kelly Gray (Tateryche) really helped fuck up this album.  Sven Gali went to Seattle, and hired Mr. Gray, who had recently co-produced the 4x Platinum debut album by Candlebox.  It’s rarely a good idea for hard rock bands to go grunge, but it’s doubly bad when they work with Kelly Gray. [More on this tomorrow.]

Gray encouraged the band to experiment.  I guess part of this experimentation was hiring one of his Seattle buddies on drums.  Mike Ferguson was in a band was Dog Daze with Mr. Gray.  Additionally, the songwriting on Inwire is credited to Sven Gali and Yard Dog.  Who the fuck is Yard Dog?  I suspect Gray’s got a writing credit on every song.  His buddies from Candlebox show up on guest vocals, and even Christopher Thorn from Blind Melon plays mandolin (one of the best moments on the album during “Tired of Listening”).

SVEN_0012In a M.E.A.T Magazine write-up, writer Carl Begai said that the album Inwire would “leave people awestruck and impressed”.  Awestruck, yes, but not very impressed.  I got this CD for free, which is the only reason I have it.  It was simply too alternative for most fans, who ignored it in droves. It also had the unfortunate problem of being very weak on songs.  There are a handful of must-haves here, along with a whole bunch of don’t-needs.  When things click occasionally, it’s on songs like “Truth”, “What You Give”, and “Make Me”.

When things fall apart, it sounds like bad U2 demos, disjointed parts connected together, boring melodies and underwhelming guitars.  I hate the needlessly distorted vocals on Inwire.  They dominate the whole album.   “Helen” features two David Wanless lead vocals, one distorted and one more distorted, yelling at each other.  More singing, less yelling Dave! Kelly Gray, I’m looking at you.

No sir, I don’t like it.  Down from the 90’s shit cover art through the 90’s shit distorted vocals to the 90’s shit songs, I don’t like it.  Except for a few sparkling moments, Inwire smells like a turd.

2/5 stars

EPILOGUE:  The band never made a third album.  After breaking up, bassist Shawn TT Mahar joined Forgotten Rebels.  When guitarist Dee Cernille was diagnosed with cancer in 2009, the band organized two reunion concerts.  These concerts were attended by Mif from Slash Puppet, who was quoted as saying, “Went to the Sven Gali show at the Sound Academy the other night to watch Dee rock out. I gotta tell ya, if I didn’t know any better I wouldn’t know that there was anything wrong with the fucking guy. He was shredding all fucking night.”  Unfortunately Cernille died on February 25, 2012.

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28 comments

  1. All the forward momentum built upon the debut was destroyed by this release. Unlike u Mike I had to pay for Inwire. I think I listened to it twice and that was it…like others I was suckered and duped.
    S Kelly’s Metal On Ice book actually talks about the Inwire release and the fallout from it for Sven Gali.
    I’m sure they are somewhat responsible for this as well as they probably succumbed to record company politics as well…at the time though …ugggggh comes to my mind about this one…..

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      1. Hey all I said was that I dug the first Sven Gali album…..you outdid yourself man! I would have never reviewed Inwire!
        Hahaha..
        A round of Trooper beer for ya Mike ,if u ever make it to Tbay!

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        1. It’s my pleasure sir, I have so much fun digging up these MEAT articles. As you know it’s hard to find images of these things online, so it’s always my pleasure to share them, and a story too.

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  2. ‘No sir, I don’t like it. Down from the 90′s shit cover art through the 90′s shit distorted vocals to the 90′s shit songs, I don’t like it. Except for a few sparkling moments, Inwire smells like a turd.’

    Come on Mike, time to get off the fence and tell us what you really think about this !!

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  3. Kelly Gray produced, you say. What a shocker! That f**king waste of bumwipe is even worse than Ron Nevison. He managed to fuck up Dokken’s Shadow Life as well. Not to mention Queensrÿche.
    So I guess you were being kind when you gave this load of garbage a 2/5. I wouldn’t even give it 2/10. Such a waste. I so looked forward to this album after their great debut and the gave us this. Grunge is a bad word…

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      1. Right Side Of My Mind is a brilliant tune. It is also the only brilliant tune on a very, very uneven album. No, I’m not fond of it. I actually like O: M II and American Soldier better.

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        1. OM:II is an OK listen, but I find it mellows out a bit too much at the end. I also have a hard time remembering a lot of the songs. Dio was brilliant of course. I like American Soldier. But I think the new one blows OM:II away. It would rival American Soldier for me.

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      1. Imagine how good The Ultimate Sin could have sounded if anyone else produced it. Anybody but Ron Nevison.

        The story goes that Ozzy Osbourne himself called Gene Simmons in 1987 and said for them NOT to work with Nevison, because it would be a nightmare…but Paul really wanted Nevison.

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        1. Yeah. Max Norman could have done TUS as he did great on the three previous albums.
          same with Crazy Nights, they could have produced it themselves. And let’s not get into Europe’s Out Of This World…

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  4. Shifting gears Mike, I purchased the audio of the Perfect Strangers 84 Deep Purple tour that is available now…..
    Man I love it ! The audio could be better but it’s 84 right ?! The fact that it’s a early show on the tour it’s a little rough but more authentic esp Balckmores riffing at the end of Gypsy Kiss.
    I think u had told me earlier that u had ordered it ….
    U will enjoy but than again u are a much bigger Purple fan than I am…
    Having said that Perfect Strangers is easily in my all time top 10…

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