Tag: Post Punk

1979, Music

Live at the Witch Trials (1979) by The Fall

Debut albums can be quite hit and miss. Most bands do not record their first album with a completely unique sound. The unique debut albums we do remember which stick out do so because they are so rare. Most bands’ debuts are not only not their best albums, but don’t capture them doing something wholly …

1984, Music

The Smiths (1984)

The British music critic establishment and whomever else greeted this band as saviours must have been so desperate for guitars to greet this band – this jangle pop music – as the thing to deliver them from synthesizers, instead of something louder or more interesting (or both). The Smiths are one of those mystifying bands …

1974, Music

Sparkle in the Rain (1984) by Simple Minds

What do you do when you’ve heard one band your whole life and not another, and then you hear the second band and they sound a lot like the first? But, the thing is, the second band was actually first, and really doesn’t sound that much like that first band.

1989, Music

Technique (1989) by New Order

The fusion of alternative and dance was such a big thing in the late 1980s in the UK. But it’s not something I really get because, well, I don’t like dance music. But I wish I could appreciate it more, because there are all these bands, with all these acclaimed albums, and I listen to …

1978, Music

Public Image First Issue (1978) by Public Image Ltd

Simon Reynolds begins his definitive history of post punk, Rip It Up and Start Again with “Public Image” and this album. He argues that Lydon leaving the Sex Pistols, recording and releasing a song about them and releasing this record mark the point at which punk wasn’t just punk, but evolved into something else. It …

1983, Music

Head Over Heels (1983) by Cocteau Twins

My only experience of the Cocteau Twins before this record was Blue Bell Knoll, a record that both sounds very different from this one and quite similar. Listening to this, knowing now where they came from, I think I should have rated Blue Bell Knoll higher, because I never would have guessed that it was …

1983, Music

Soul Mining (1983) by the The

My main complaint against synthpop is that the majority the bands decided to entirely or mostly drop conventional instruments in favour of synthesizers and drum machines. I have never been a huge fan of either instrument and so it’s an uphill battle for me when an entire album is performed with instruments I don’t like. …

1988, Music

Peepshow (1988) by Siouxsiee and the Banshees

The opening song “Peek-a-Boo” really threw me for a lip – those samples are a massive departure from what I’m familiar with from this band. My initial impression of it was that they were trying to piggyback on the emerging sound of hip hop and electro which they didn’t understand and were failing terribly. That …

1978, Music

Real Life (1978) by Magazine

As an album recorded by a band featuring the former lead singer of one of the original British punk bands, but manifestly not playing punk rock, I think there’s a temptation to say this record could be the original post-punk record. (It literally is “post punk” in that sense.) That in itself would make this …

1988, Music

A Bell Is a Cup Until It Is Struck (1988) by Wire

I am a long-time fan of both Pink Flag and especially Chairs Missing but have somehow never managed to get to any of their other material. Having not heard their first album after they reunited either, this is a surprise.

1983, Music

Learning to Cope with Cowardice (1983) by Mark Stewart + Maffia

I have long meant to listen to The Pop Group but somehow it seems I’ve just never gotten around to doing it. Because of that I lack the knowledge of the connection between this music (made by its lead singer) and the earlier music. Maybe this would make more sense to me with that context.

1983, Music

Power, Corruption and Lies (1983) by New Order

I was pretty disappointed by New Order’s debut. If I can recall, I believe I was expecting something along the lines of the little I knew about New Order, and what I got was Joy Division minus Ian Curtis. Yes, that’s basically the band, but I was not expecting that. I was disappointed.

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 …

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.

1980, Music

Talking Heads at the Capitol Theatre November 4, 1980

This is an incredible show which is very illustrative of the the “eras” bands go through. Talking Heads in Stop Making Sense area great band, but they are utter professionals. They are having a great time, and they backed by a unique stage show that ads to the experience, but they are polished and utterly …

2013, Music

Push the Sky Away (2013) by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds

I greeted Grinderman with a fair amount of joy. Though it certainly seemed a little as if they band was trying to relive the past glories of the Birthday Party, enough of it felt different to let myself go with the renouncing of decades of personal musical history.

1988, Music

Spirit of Eden (1988) by Talk Talk

Ever since I became a fan of the horribly named genre post rock in the early ’00s, I always wondered where it came from. It has long seemed to me to have emerged from nowhere. What music from the ’80s could have possibly told us we would be listening to “rock” bands trying their hardest …

1986, Music

The Queen is Dead (1986, Rough Trade) by the Smiths

I usually don’t have trouble liking rock I’m “supposed” to like (i.e. the generally accepted rock canon). I can’t say the same about pop I’m supposed to “like” (frankly, I just prefer inventiveness, grit, rhythm and other such things to melody, aesthetic angles to precision arrangements, appropriate to clean production and mixing, etc). I usually …

2001, Music

Best of Morrissey (Rhino 2001)

Full Disclosure Part I: I call myself a music snob yet I somehow don’t know the Smiths. I can’t really explain why except that a million other bands found their way on to my must hear list first. So my exposure to Morrissey is unfortunately post-Smiths.   Full Disclosure Part II: I hate Best-Ofs. I …