Renewed and revitalized, Soul Asylum founders Dave Pirner and Dan Murphy return to rock's front line with THE SILVER LINING, their first new studio release since 1998's Candy From A Stranger. That album inadvertently kicked off a seven-year recording sabbatical for the group, which telescoped into the death of bassist Karl Mueller in June 2005, the other founding member of the triumvirate that has steered Soul Asylum through rocks white water for the past two decades plus.
The re-emergence of the group on THE SILVER LINING is as much a reaffirmation of Soul Asylum's commitment to the music as it is a dedication to Karl, who worked and played on the album right up until the end. They were joined in the studio by not-so-new heavyweight Minneapolis drummer Michael Bland (who has played with everyone from Paul Westerberg to Prince). The band is now complemented by Tommy Stinson on bass, a member of fellow Twin Cities band the Replacements since age 13, and a pal of Dan's since he was in high school and Tommy in junior high. Tommy was the only friend that Karl could endorse to replace himself in the band. This hard-driving lineup was introduced for the first time in October 2005, when they played sold-out showcase dates at First Avenue in Minneapolis and the Bowery Ballroom in New York - within three days.
THE SILVER LINING, Soul Asylum's ninth full-length album, is every bit as quirky and off-centered cut-to-the-bone rock as their hardcore fans have come to expect, an indication that the Minneapolis-bred band has lost none of its edge. And why should they? The new Soul Asylum songs - "Crazy Mixed Up World," "Standing Water," "Success Is Not So Sweet," "All Is Well," "Good For You," "Lately," "Oxygen," and the lead single "Stand Up And Be Strong" - capture the band at its best: swinging, soothing, and rocking.
"I'm really proud of this record," said Dan Murphy. "It's a guitar record and it was really fun to record. It will always remind me of Karl when I listen to it. He was really sick, but still pulled through and finished it in Soul Asylum fashion."
"It makes me think of Karl," agreed Dave Pirner. "It was long overdue to record exclusively in Minneapolis because we hadn't done so in 15 years and the natural surroundings of home was something we needed. We feel extra proud of it because we did it on our own."