06.24.13 — “It’s Not Enough” by Medicine


If you only listen to one song tonight, make it “It’s Not Enough” by Medicine (2013, from the forthcoming album To the Happy Few).

They say that you have your whole life to put out your first record, one year to put out your second, two more years to put out your third, then another eighteen to put out your fourth record. Well, maybe they don’t say that, but that’s what Medicine has done.

Medicine is a shoegaze/noise rock trio from Los Angeles. They released three albums in the early-to-mid 1990s, then disappeared. Their 1992 debut record Shot Forth Self Living was universally regarded as a breathtaking masterpiece, and some considered it to be America’s answer to Loveless. They followed it with 1993’s The Buried Life, which saw the band expand so something like eight members. They went back to the “original” three-piece lineup for the 1995 album Her Highness. Then, they hung their skates up. Except for a weird album in 2003 that wasn’t really Medicine, they didn’t play together.

Last year, the great folks at Captured Tracks reissued the first two Medicine albums plus an EP as a lush box set. Simultaneous with that, they reissued the first two records individually in “luxe and reduxe” fashion. I was very quick to snap up a copy of the deluxe and reduxe Shot Forth Self-Living, and it’s quite special. Back in September, I wrote a little bit about that reissue, and a lot about the marvelous song “A Short Happy Life”.

While the band was in the studio working with the label on the reissues, they started working together again on new material. After months and months of hearing that they had an album put together and that the release was eminent, we finally got some more concrete news today.

Two months ago, they teased us with an album name and the first single “Long as the Sun”. Today, we were treated to another new song, and we learned the street date for the new album. August 6 is the release date. No pre-sale yet. Today’s song is the new one that they shared with us today:

“It’s Not Enough” by Medicine

This is the “original lineup”. Although there was a different lineup prior to the release of Shot Forth Self-Living, it’s usually understood that the “original lineup” was Beth Thompson (vocals), Brad Laner (guitars) and Jim Goodall (drums). On that weird 2003 album, it was just Brad Laner and Shannon (daughter of Bruce) Lee, who had been an occasional backing vocalist in the band.

This doesn’t have some of the blistering sonic assaults that made Shot Forth Self-Living so good. It’s more “beauty” than “beast”, but it’s still basically the same brand of Medicine. I expect the album to have plenty of that sonic assault stuff. I can’t wait.

About dlee

North Carolina born and bred. I'm a restaurant guy who spends free time listening to music, watching hockey and playing Scrabble. I have a bachelor's degree in political science and I will most likely never put it to use. View all posts by dlee

3 responses to “06.24.13 — “It’s Not Enough” by Medicine

  • phil

    the reissues/box set last year wasn’t actually the first three albums… it was the first two albums plus the “sounds of medicine” ep, which came out in connection with their working with the cocteau twins for a track on the sountrack to “the crow”.

    brad did release an alternate version of their third album, “her highness”, on cd-r through his mailing list a number of years back. apparently the record company forced them to make changes to make it more commercial, so he independently released a version that was closer to his original vision.

    i was hoping captured tracks might reissue that one as well, but sadly no.

  • dlee

    Nice catch, Phil. I’ll make minor adjustments to the post.

  • wjpurdy

    No, but seriously… has 2013 been one hell of a year for music, or what?

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