The Mind's Eye
/east west; 1992/

Last week, I found back an old high-school diary. I used to set everything on that because I used to forget a lot of things then (the reasons why shall not be discussed here). Anyway, besides the usual home-works, phone numbers, little friendly words still indicative of dull lessons, I had written a lot of teenage anxious ontological statements about life, lyrics by my favourite bands and supposedly important events. Fortunately I didn’t write any Stilt Skin lyrics but I actually wrote in red the release date of the album and double underlined it, meaning that I expected and longed for this for about a month. I first heard about Stilt Skin on one of these national mainstream radio stations. ‘Inside’ thrilled me deep inside ‘like a nursing rhyme’. I was definitely spending a ‘year in a hostile place’ since I hated almost everybody in my class (which was reciprocal)… ‘Inside’ chorus might have echoed my despondency: “And if you think that I’ve been losing my way, that’s because I’m slightly blinded. And if you think that I don’t make too much sense, that’s because I’m broken minded”. Well, I kept it all inside anyway. The lyrics say ‘Don’t keep it all inside’ but then where is Stilt Skin now ? Deep in the ashes of remembrance and stereo shelving dust, behind about one thousand other one-time hit bands.

I remember I had even skived a lesson to go to my favourite record store and buy the good with a haughty look and go back home to listen to it. That was one of my big teenage musical disappointments but now it is just a SHAMEFUL MEMORY. ‘Inside’ was a killer song or so I thought. Since then someone had me unwillingly heard Infinite Dreams by Iron Maiden and there is a song whose title I have forgotten that undeniably sounds like Stilt Skin’s hit.

The title’s reference must hurt the poet in his tomb. The sound of the album is unpleasant. ‘America’ is simply horrid. ‘An illusion’ is one of the most pathetic ballads I’ve ever heard. One of those songs you wish no one would play when you’re undergoing a severe headache. ‘Rest in Peace’ could have been amusing if it had been a Phil Collins song featuring Michael Jackson for a charity event. ‘Scared of ghosts’ and ‘Footsteps’ have almost good parts but they definitely sound like alternate versions of ‘Inside’. Some songs could have been middle-of-the-road if they were not so long (‘Horse’, ‘Sunshine & Butterflies’ if they didn’t insert this ridiculous blues solo, ‘When my ship comes in’). The last track is an atmospheric soundscape which only proves that Stilt Skin had listened to Dead Can Dance. They even specified in the booklet that ‘no synth or guitar synths were used on the track’. Sometimes vanity conveys so much humour…

With retrospect, the name of the band is lame, the album is bad, singer Ray Wilson turned to dust in Genesis while snowfall turns to rust and each time a DJ plays ‘Inside’ everyone remembers the song but they are unable to remember the group (except me - unfortunately). The drunken souls even spread their musical culture saying aloud that it was the song to the Levis commercial. I hate the very name Levis, it makes me think of a short cut to say Lenny Kravitz, who might be the subject a forthcoming shameful memories column… be continued


/mar 1st 2003/