The Sound - From The Lion's Mouth (1981)(CD 2001)

Druga płyta zespołu The Sound wyprodukowana pod okiem Hugh Jonesa (pracował również z the Teardrops oraz the Bunnymen). Tutaj już zespół świadomie pokazał na co ich stać - wykorzystali w pełni zdolność do tworzenia atmosferycznych, bogato zaaranżowanych kompozycji, wciąż bazując na solidnych post punkowych korzeniach. Świetny zaangażowany wokal, głębokie i wciągające teksty, wyróżniające się brzmienie - czego wiecej potrzeba aby odnieść sukces? Bardzo dobre recenzje w prasie niestety nie przekładały się na większe zainteresowanie ze strony publiczności i wytwórnia zaczęła naciskać na zmianę repertuaru grupy.

An assured, relatively loose follow-up to the fraught and frayed Jeopardy, From the Lion's Mouth entrenched the Sound's stature as no mere flash in the pan. It should have shot them directly between spots occupied by the likeminded Joy Division and Echo & the Bunnymen as post-punk legends, but the Fates had something else in mind, and so the quartet took its place right next to touring mates the Comsat Angels in the section marked "Deserved Better." With some semblance of a recording budget, the Sound went into the studio with talented producer Hugh Jones on board to accentuate the band's winning atmospherics. As a result, the sound is fuller, less pungent. And speaking of winning, the snake-charming opener "Winning" is like a dash of cold water in the faces of all the bands that were wallowing and withering away at the weeping well: "I was going to drown/Then I started swimming/I was going down/Then I started winning." This, in a sense, exemplifies the point that the Sound were not mopes. They had their problems with life, but rather than just vent or escape from them, they confront them and ask questions and attempt to sort it all out. Most of the record has an effortless thrust to it, and only occasionally -- for maximum effect -- does the Sound whip out the heavy artillery. If "The Fire" sounds too bombastic and pummeling, listen closer. The bass is the lead instrument, the keyboards are just as prominent as the guitars, and it only sounds like chest-beating compared to the rest of the songs. From the Lion's Mouth shifts, glides, winds, accelerates, and decelerates with all the grace and precision of an Olympic downhill skier. And what a great record it is. [The Renascent label's 2002 reissue offers spectacular sound and slyly hides the fair 1982 single "Hothouse" within the last track. Prior to his death, Adrian Borland voiced his wish to have the reissue stick to the original running order with no bonus tracks for purity's sake, so the label's (appreciated) move appears to be a sneaky way of going around it.]
Andy Kellman, All Music Guide

1. Winning
2. Sense of Purpose
3. Contact the Fact
4. Skeletons
5. Judgment
6. Fatal Flaw
7. Possession
8. Fire
9. Silent Air
10. New Dark Age / Hothouse


The Sound - All Fall Down (1982)(CD 2002)

Oto trzecia płyta w dorobku The Sound, która w zamierzeniu miała być przebojowa i zapewnić kilka hitów na liście przebojów, czego domagała się wytwórnia. Zespół nic sobie nie robił z tych wytycznych i płycie daleko do miana przebojowej. Otrzymaliśmy album surowy w brzmieniu,
nieharmonijny i pełen muzycznych dysonansów, co dla niektórych fanów było nie do wytrzymania. Nie jest to zbiór pojedynczych piosenek, lecz raczej należy słuchać tego albumu w całości, gdyż tylko tak docenimy jego złożoną wartość.

Label: "The five-star reviews were nice and all, so how about some actual hits this time -- eh, fellas?" Band: "Right." The fellas responded with no hits, which had a lot more to do with defiance than closed-minded radio programming -- there was no attempt at making a hit. There's nothing like Jeopardy's blasting "Heartland" and there certainly isn't anything as instantly pleasurable as From the Lion's Mouth's "Sense of Purpose." In fact, the Sound responded to label demands and simmering internal pressures with a record that challenged devout fans as well. All Fall Down is one of those maligned records where some fans bailed but a select few would be inclined to attempt -- through demonstrative hand gestures and long-winded, shouty, pouty explanations of the circumstances surrounding it -- to explain why it's the band's greatest achievement. All this despite the fact that the majority of the other people who have heard it will tell you it should be avoided at all costs. "It's hopelessly 'down,' it's got no 'tunes,' it doesn't go anywhere," etc. Truthfully, it falls somewhere between those two views. This is one of those records where patience pays off, because it will gradually become more apparent that the songs all fit together and pretzel themselves in a sense that each one's effect is optimized within the context of those surrounding it. It's not a sprawl of songs but an album. Nothing comes by and smacks you in the face; its progression unfolds slowly. They play around with song structures, avoid choruses, drop down unexpected portals, use rhythmic drives for extended stretches, and employ chanted refrains, tape effects, and mechanized handclaps. Some songs build and build and build on a slight gradient and fade out or disappear with no resolution, no catharsis. None of these developments emaciate the band's power. However difficult the record is to crawl into, it shows a band that had reached another level of mastery. [Renascent reissued All Fall Down in 2002 with superb sound and added three previously unreleased songs. The vocal tracks seem to be slowed down significantly, making Adrian Borland sound very intimidating.]
Andy Kellman, All Music Guide

1 All Fall Down
2 Party Of The Mind
3 Monument
4 In Suspense
5 Where The Love Is
6 Song And Dance
7 Calling The New Tune
8 Red Paint
9 Glass And Smok
10 We Could Go Far
11 The One And A Half Minute Song
12 Sorry
13 As Feeling Dies


VA - La Cage Sessions vol.11

To już ostatni odcinek z serii La Cage Sessions, który posiadam i dzielę się z wszystkimi chętnymi. Mamy tu około 70min muzyki New Wave nonstop bez zbędnych przerw. Wspaniale się tego słucha.

Polecam dzisiaj taki zestaw:



The Sound - Jeopardy (1980)(CD 2002)

Zespół powstał w 1979 roku w Londynie i od początku istnienia zbierał dobre recenzje. Trudno powiedzieć dlaczego The Sound nie przebili się do grona zespołów, które odniosły sukces w latach 80tych. Ich muzykę prasa lokowała pomiędzy Joy Division, Psychedelic Furs a Echo and The Bunnymen. Debiut płytowy 'Jeopardy' wciąż brzmi surowo, brak tu poprodukcyjnej ogłady i szlifu studyjnego. Typowe post punkowe gitary i ostry wokal atakują nas w każdym utworze. 

Despite the production's rough edges, the limited budget that fostered it, and the feeling that it sounds more like several A-sides and a couple decent B-sides thrown together than a singular body, Jeopardy is a caustic jolt of a debut that startles and fascinates. With the plaintive intro of the rhythm section, a spidery guitar, and incidental synth wobbles (which all sounds surprisingly Neu!-like), "I Can't Escape Myself" begins the album unassumingly enough until reaching the terse, one-line chorus that echoes the title of the song; suddenly, from out of the blue, all the instruments make a quick, violent, collective stab and retreat back into the following verse as singer Adrian Borland catches his breath. The reverb placed on his voice is heightened at just the right moments to exacerbate the song's claustrophobic slant. The ecstatic onward rush of "Heartland" forms the back end of a dynamic one-two opening punch, with a charging rhythm and blaring keyboards leading the way. It seems to be the spawn of XTC and U2, just as giddy as something from the former (think Go2) and almost as anthemic as something from the latter (think Boy). Much later on, near the end, "Unwritten Law" comes along as one of the Sound's best mid-tempo mood pieces -- one of their greatest strengths. It also shows how much a simple shading of synth can affect a song, as it affects it with a melancholic smear that no other instrument could possibly provide. In all honesty, they weren't breaking any new ground here. Their influences were just as apparent as the ones donned by the other bands that inhabited similar post-punk territory. Smart journalists of the time -- meaning the ones who truly listened and were aware of the band's past -- knew well enough that the Sound belonged in the same league as the bands they were compared to and not somewhere in the bushes. Hardly coattail jockeying, the Sound were developing and growing alongside them. If you're thinking this sounds like someone's telling you that you need Jeopardy just as much as you need Kilimanjaro or Unknown Pleasures or Crocodiles, you're right again. [Renascent's 2002 reissue offers a fine remastering job and the four-song Live Instinct EP as a bonus.]
Andy Kellman, All Music Guide

1 I Can't Escape Myself
2 Heartland
3 Hour Of Need
4 Words Fail Me
5 Missiles
6 Heyday
7 Jeopardy
8 Night Versus Day
9 Resistance
10 Unwritten Law
11 Desire
  + bonus tracks
12 Heartland (Live)
13 Brute Force (Live)
14 Jeopardy (Live)
15 Coldbeat (Live)


Ministry - Twitch (1986)

Drugi album, 'Twitch' (1986) wciąż był daleki od tego, czym Ministry zapisało się w historii muzyki. Jednak, pod względem samej zawartości był ciekawszy i bardziej złożony niż debiut. Był to śmiały krok w stronę industrialu, tutaj jeszcze z elementami tanecznymi. Słychać wyraźne echa twórczości Front 242, Jourgensen nie wstydził się poeksperymentować, czego najlepszym dowodem jest 'Where You At Now?/Crash And Burn/Twitch (Version II)' - coś w rodzaju suity, w której zamiast starać znaleźć wyjście z labiryntu dźwięków, jeszcze bardziej go komplikuje. Jest tu też parę utworów nadających się na parkiet, nieźle pokręcone 'Just Like You', mroczne 'The Angel' z wokalami żony Ala, Patty Jourgensen. Pod względem tekstowym Ministry w dużej mierze zwróciło się w stronę polityki. Ostatni na płycie 'Isle Of Man' to jakby pożegnanie z miłym, delikatnym 
Ministry na rzecz cięższej agresywnej muzyki, którą miał przynieść album 'The Land of Rape and Honey'.

The name Ministry brings to mind images of big, dumb guitars and arena rock sensibility. But before they created their influential third album, The Land of Rape and Honey, there was Twitch. And this album probably owes more to Front 242 than anything. The only thing remotely resembling their later music is the use of psychotic sampling that Al Jourgensen and Paul Barker will always be known for. A good example is "Like You," the first track on the album. Other differences include Patty Jourgensen singing on the song "The Angel" and Al Jourgensen actually trying to sound unaggravated at times. It's interesting though repetitive at times ("Crash and Burn"), and if you care to listen to Jourgensen's rants, he really does have something to say. "Isle of Man" tells the story of the arrival of Columbus and how the persecution of the Indians will be revisited on the offenders in time. Make no mistake: this sounds nothing like any of Ministry's other albums; listeners may hear how they became what they did.
Alan Esher, All Music Guide

1. Just Like You
2. We Believe
3. All Day [Remix]
4. The Angel
5. Over the Shoulder
6. My Possession
7. Where You at Now?/Crash and Burn/Twitch [Version II]
8. Over the Shoulder [12" Version]
9. Isle of Man [Version II]


Ministry - With Sympathy (1983)

Ministry, zespół muzyczny założony w 1981 w Chicago. Jedna z najważniejszych nazw wymienianych w odniesieniu do gatunku industrial (choć właściwie jest to połączenie muzyki industrialnej z metalem). Zespół bardzo ważny dla wielbicieli ciężkich brzmień na całym świecie, bardzo interesujący ze względu na muzyczną ewolucją, jaką przeszedł w ciągu niemal ćwierćwiecza istnienia (do dziś).
Ministry, początkowo jako duet składający się z Ala Jourgensena i Stephena George'a, grało muzykę diametralnie różną od tej, dzięki której zespół stał się sławny w 1. połowie lat 90. Na pierwszym albumie zatytułowanym 'With Sympathy' możemy usłyszeć taneczną muzykę pop o brzmieniu bardzo przypominającym elektro. Ma ona swój urok (np: Effigy (I am not)), ale potem Jourgensen wielokrotnie odżegnywał się od tego okresu swojej twórczości. Dla niektórych słuchanie tego albumu może być wyjątkowo komiczne - zamiast brudnych gitar i stojącego na granicy growla wokalu, mamy sample jak z wczesnego Depeche Mode i głosik studenciaka z czasów dyskotekowego szaleństwa - podobno Al specjalnie naśladował akcent brytyjski w swoim wokalu.

And you thought you had some skeletons in your closet...
Long before Ministry began terrorizing the listening public with jackhammers of sound and heaviness, Al Jourgensen started out his long musical journey as a clean cut new wave dance artist. That's right. He actually existed before that mess of hair and the old cowboy hat. In fact, the inner sleeve photo of Mr. Jourgensen finds him to be a beau that even a churchmouse could bring home. Needless to say, Ministry as certainly gone quite a ways from Point A to Point Z.
On one hand, With Sympathy is a fairly decent collection of early 80s club songs. I admit I can actually sit through the whole thing without shuddering, but granted there's a huge smirk on my face the entire time. Perhaps growing up in the 80s allows me to tolerate this sort of stuff, but it reminds me mostly of something my brother might have listened to as a freshman in high school. The music is exceedingly polite with every single new wave trapping you can think of. There's some strong melodies and quite a bit of catchiness. However, the technology of 1983 makes this record sound extremely dated and amusing for all the wrong reasons. I can only imagine the reaction fans of Psalm 69 finding this in the store and expecting their necks to be ripped out.
Granted, every Ministry fan on the planet needs to hear this album solely to catch Al Jourgensen playing music so polite and white bread that even Mr. Cleaver would approve. The amusement factor is quite high, but it's definitely nothing more than a historical curiosity. Had Ministry not given us "Just One Fix" and shredded the eardrums of countless freaks since, this would be just another lost, forgotten early 80s club record.
Review by John Chedsey

1. Effigy (I'm Not An)
2. Revenge
3. I Wanted to Tell Her
4. Work For Love
5. Here We Go
6. What He Say
7. Say You're Sorry
8. Should Have Known Better
9. She's Got a Cause