The Stone Roses never shied away from religious imagery, at least not when it came to themselves and their messianic importance. In fact, they embraced it in a way that set the tone for the entire Brit-Pop madness of the 90s, one of their most memorable singles being “I Am The Resurrection” and their sophomore album a little something called “Second Coming.”

For those who are unfamiliar, The Stone Roses’ 1989 self-titled debut (and its accompanying b-sides!) was a little “burst into (musical) heaven,” the best freshman effort since some roses on this side of the pond sated their Appetite a couple years beforehand. Fortunately, these Roses were no less brash. If anything, they were even more arrogant! Singer Ian Brown may not have been able to pull off his cooler-than-thou Mancunian/Madchester thing terribly well on stage, but in the studio it was magic, at least when married to John Squire’s crystalline Marr-meets-Page riffing and unbeatable pop chops, not to mention their now slightly dated sounding “baggy” rhythm section. There’s really not a weak moment on the record. Even if it hadn’t encapsulated the UK Zeitgeist so perfectly, as so many writers have claimed (I would have no idea!), the album would have stood on its own two feet on the strength of the songs alone. Which it still does. Tack “Fool’s Gold” on for the US release and you have a bonafide classic. The lyrics may not be saying all that much – pretty much a succession of nonchalant 60s-inspired if slightly malevolent drug love imagery – but who cares, the attitude is/was pitch-perfect.

Second Coming, six years later, was a more mixed affair, but not without some significant high points, pun intended. People complained about the Zeppelification of their sound, and to be fair, the brew was considerably murkier this time around, the excess a bit embarrassing in places. But fast forward through the four minutes of backward noise and bongos and opening track “Breaking Into Heaven” reaches some pretty empyrean heights, self-deifying imagery included. Brown’s detached delivery had become more of an ominous growl, which weaved in with Squire’s non-stop guitar god-isms to magical effect on “Love Spreads” (AKA “the messiah, she’s my sister”), its absurdly extended opening riff taking the whole mess as far – and as glorious – as it could go. “Begging You” integrates the Hacienda house scene as well as could possibly be expected, and the gorgeous “Ten Storey Love Song” provides proof aplenty that their pop sensibilities were still intact. “How Do You Sleep” is also a terrific tune, and the acoustic substance anthem “Tightrope” sounds a lot better now than it did back in 1995, believe it or not.

ANYWAY, the boys have been a bit aimless since they went their separate ways. Mani, the bassist, joined Primal Scream, drummer Reni quietly shrank from the spotlight, Squire formed a mediocre (but charming) new band, The Seahorses, that only stuck together long enough to release one record. He then put out a couple of okay solo records before declaring himself to be exclusively a visual artist exclusively a few years ago. (And his work, which includes the covers to all the Roses records, is pretty awesome, truth be told). Only Brown made much of a go of it, embarking on a surprisingly successful solo career, much to the British press’ chagrin. All his records have something to recommend them – in fact, his cover of “Billie Jean” almost steals the song from its esteemed author – Solarized and Music of the Spheres are particularly good. My personal favorite track he’s released is the out-of-nowhere “The Feeding of the 5000” from 2007’s otherwise lackluster The World Is Yours, in which he re-imagines the Gospel miracle as, well, an enormous party.

Eyes were bloodshot
Lips were red hot
Sweet bliss fragrance fills the air
Resuscitating all the breathless
Reviving everybody there
Two fishes as the Spirit
Five loaves of bread the soul
At the feeding of five thousand
Where the baskets overflowed

Love it reaches through the darkness
Love’s the king of golden rules
Bombs are falling as we’re dancing
To this man-made sonic boom
Love it reaches through the darkness
Love’s the king of golden rules

All this to say, here’s hoping the current reunion is more than an excuse for a bunch of ‘resurrection’ headlines or, you know, bags of ‘fool’s good.’ Who knows – maybe we’ll even get a US gig or three. Lord knows we all wanna adore (and be adored)…