Tag: Post Punk

1983, Music

Porcupine (1983) by Echo and the Bunnymen

I really enjoyed Heaven Up Here and I perhaps had too-high expectations when I first listened to this record. The first time I heard it, I wasn’t feeling it. A lot of that had to do with listening to War for the first time in ages at the same time, as both records were released …

1983, Music

What Makes a Man Start Fires? (1983) by Minutemen

This is such a unique take on hardcore – if you can even call it hardcore, since it’s hardly loud enough or musically violent enough to qualify. It’s like something else. I see the descriptor “post punk” thrown around, which might fit, though Minutemen sound absolutely nothing like the British post punk bands (or the …

1982, Music

A Kiss in the Dreamhouse (1982) by Siouxsie and the Banshees

I am really big fan of JuJu for many of the same reasons I like this record: there’s this balance between the dark. “gothic” lyrics and Siouxsie Sioux’s vocals, and the often shimmering neo-psychedelic guitar and sound effects. But I definitely get a sense of deja vu. And I get that sense even though this …

1982, Music

Forever Now (1982) by The Psychedelic Furs

This is my first Furs record so I cannot comment on whether or not it’s some kind of sell out (doesn’t sound like it!) or some kind of compromise of their earlier sound, which I have never heard. I can comment on the music and try to comment on the context, as I am an …

1977, Music

No More Heroes (1977) by The Stranglers

I used to think there was only one true British New Wave band: The Police. (Well, and Elvis Costello. But Costello is labeled New Wave primarily due to laziness; too punk to be Pub Rock and too classicist to be Punk, people didn’t know what else to call him.) The Police were the only band …

1987, Music

Darklands (1987) by The Jesus and Mary Chain

The UK has a long, weird tradition of hilariously opinionated and antagonistic rock front men who bash other musicians and other people and then make wussy music; the Reids, Morrissey, the Gallaghers (I’m sure there are many more). That shouldn’t matter, really, but I find it harder to accept pop music (and poppier rock) on …

1987, Music

Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me (1987) by The Cure

This is a record with a couple of The Cure’s best singles and a few other decent songs and way too much other stuff. It’s crazy that Smith claims to have written another record worth of songs for this album. Isn’t it long enough already?

1982, Music

Junkyard (1982) by The Birthday Party

Junkyard is arguably every bit as loud, violent and theatrical as its predecessor. It is, perhaps, slightly more rooted in blues than Prayers on Fire but, beyond that, it’s pretty much equally unconventional. As fans of Cave and the Bad Seeds will discover, this band is much, much worse (in a good way).

1982, Music

Pornography (1982) by The Cure

I did not enjoy Faith, this record’s predecessor and the first Cure album I ever heard outside of their singles collections. I found it lacking in songs and seemingly caught between two disparate impulses. And from the get-go, the reassuring thing about Pornography is that it is absolutely not Faith. It barely sounds like the …

1982, Music

Hex Enduction Hour (1982) by The Fall

There is so much post punk that sounds like other post punk (specifically, like Joy Division) that it can get exhausting. The Fall are one of the few British post punk bands to have charted a truly unique course. This is the earliest record of theirs I’ve heard and so, as far as I’m concerned, …

1981, Music

Odyshape (1981) by The Raincoats

I loved the debut, a seemingly perfect combination of naive rock and punk energy. But this is another thing entirely – shockingly different. To call this music post punk is to admit that we don’t know what to call it. It’s not post punk in any sense, except that, once upon a time, maybe The …

1981, Music

Movement (1981) by New Order

Sub Joy Division. It’s exactly what you’d imagine Joy Division without Ian Curtis would sound like. Though I don’t know New Order well, I imagine that their more popular records feature a sound that moved beyond this pale imitation of a great band. 6/10 because it’s still better than what was on the radio.

1980, Music

The Return of the Durutti Column (1980)

This is a really unique take on Post Punk, if it can even be called that, featuring expressive guitar playing over some pretty minimalist bass and drums (sometimes not even that). In fact, it’s more the era it was made in and the legendary post punk producer who supervised it that mark it out as …

1981, Music

Red Mecca (1981) by Cabaret Voltaire

I guess this is what happens when an Industrial band makes minimal concessions to accessibility. I can’t say I know these guys (or know Industrial well at all) but this feels much more accessible than the little Industrial I know; there are actual melodies rather than just rhythms and the whole thing feels “tight” for …

1981, Music

God (1981) by Rip Rig and Panic

It’s no secret the influence American funk had on post punk. But Rip Rig + Panic take that influence to extremes not seen in the rest of the movement.And the influence isn’t limited to funk, but extends to many different forms of African American music, including jazz, which should come as no surprise given that …

1981, Music

Deceit (1981) by This Heat

This Heat’s debut album is a challenging, difficult record but it is one of the great experimental rock albums of the 70s, full of all sorts of crazy ideas, paired with a DIY attitude that frees it from some of the more academic trappings of previous experimental rock.

1986, Music

Kicking Against the Pricks (1986) by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

This is a diverse album of covers, from blues songs to folk and country songs to more mainstream pop songs to a Velvet Underground cover. And the performances are equally diverse, including some really out there versions of some of these songs (see “Hey Joe.” for instance) The problem for me is that sometimes they …

1981, Music

Signals, Calls, and Marches (1981) by Mission of Burma

The missing link between post punk and alternative rock. I don’t say that lightly. When I first heard their debut album, I was underwhelmed – too much hype. But this EP (along with their debut single, included here) is pretty much the blueprint for a lot of American alternative rock in the ’80s (minus the …

1980, Music

Waiting for a Miracle (1980) by The Comsat Angels

To my ears, the debut of The Comsat Angels marks the point where post punk tried to reconcile itself with more conventional rock music. Though there are still hallmarks of the post punk sound, there’s also much more of a focus on conventional songwriting. It helps that the songs are mostly excellent and so it …

1982, Music

3rd From the Sun (1982) by Chrome

My first exposure to Chrome; I’m surprised how melodic it is, as I was expecting a lot more of the noise side of things (though I guess that’s a different era of the band). There’s a strong krautrock influence filtered through an almost gothic sensibility (others have said “doomy,” which also feels appropriate). A number …

1979, Music

Buy (1979) by James Chance and the Contortions

Take English post punk, add some free jazz, some Pere Ubu and some Magic Band (specifically the slide guitar) and you get this record. New to No Wave (it seems), this is totally not what I thought this was going to sound like. I thought it was going to be Branca-eque detuned guitar industrial noise. …

1991, Music

White Light From the Mouth of Infinity (1991) by Swans

I have only ever heard one Swans album previously, and I have seen them live once. The cumulative result of that was that I think I can say that they are a band that is an acquired taste and that is more impressive (if not likable) live. This record completely changed my mind. I respect …

1981, Music

Only a Lad (1981) by Oingo Boingo

Oingo Boingo’s debut is like Devo if the music were written by someone who went to music school, and who missed the memo that punk bands have to be left wing (it’s new wave but it’s reactionary new wave…if he’s being sincere…) The music is more musically inventive than your average new wave and there’s …

1981, Music

Juju (1981) by Siouxsie and the Banshees

I quite liked Kaleidoscope but this record takes that sound to its logical conclusion, creating something that is simultaneously dark and post-punky and also bright and shimmering. They really found a unique spin on British post punk that no other band (that I’m aware of) really had. Of the records I’ve heard of theirs, this …

1996, Music

Destination Love: Live! At Cold Rice (1996) by The Make Up

When I first listened to this faux-live album I thought “Holy MC5 Batman.” At least initially, this band sounded like they were just MC5 worshipers, albeit in the best of ways. But that’s a really superficial reading of this music and also a misunderstanding of both this band and the MC5, who may be inspired …

1986, Music

Tinderbox (1986) by Siouxsie and the Banshees

The Banshees strike this weird balance where they pair a (relatively) bright sound with lyrics that wouldn’t necessarily fit with that sound. It’s not that the sound is particularly bright, it’s just bright for the genre, and I always find it a little disorienting when I first hear one of their records. The songs are …

1981, Music

Faith (1981) by The Cure

Like many, I came to The Cure through their singles. I got their excellent compilations of their first decades and…I stopped. For some reason, I haven’t dug deeper, as I have with nearly every other band I discovered when I was younger. I don’t know why. I guess I sort of assumed they were a …

1981, Music

Solid Gold (1981) by Gang of Four

Gang of Four’s debut is everything I think people would imagine it to be: sterile, punky funk music married to lyrics full of political statements and social comment. To me, that’s what Gang of Four conjures up. It’s a seminal sound which was arguably the most prevalent of influences when New New Wave / Post …