Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Siouxsie & The Banshees Incarnate: A Brief Overview

The back catalogue of Siouxsie & The Banshees is much to grand for encompassing in just one single post, so here goes part one where I shall tackle 3 from the 80s with more obviously to follow:

A Kiss In The Dreamhouse (1982): all the tracks are splintering pop songs or damp cave-wailing ballads . Melt!, She's A Carnival, Circle, Painted Bird, Fireworks and the seething Obsession are bristling with details and Siouxsie's bullying cry is at its 80s vintage peak. Only Slowdive veers into wasteland, although it is incredulously a fan favourite (it's like an embarassing attempt to do a Rapture).

Tinderbox from 1986 showcases Siouxsie's voice maturing, curdling into some pretty macabre subject matter in battle with some fantastic music. The songs are thornier: Cannons and Party's Fall are my favourite album tracks. The divine Starcrossed Lovers is worth getting the re-release for - it really is gorgeous and unusually lilting and romantic. The strident howl of Cities In Dust goes into dancefloor combat as one of their most remarkable singles, and the other single Candyman's unsettling subject matter still managed to reach #34 in the UK charts.

On 1984's Hyaena, Dazzle and Swimming Horses are two of the band's finest singles. The tantalising We Hunger, Siouxsie's nasal wail on the dancing ballad Belladonna is mesmerizing. Take Me Back sounds like they have devoured what was a disco song down to the bone (and has an organ). Running Town is quite jaunty and Siouxsie hisses at one point, it's 'full speed aheaaaaaaad'.

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