Sunday, May 31, 2015

The Cure

From: Crawley, West Sussex, UK
Genres: New Wave, Alternative, Gothic, Post-punk 
Years active: 1976 - date 
Personnel: Robert Smith (vocals/guitar/keyboards), Simon Gallup (bass), Lol Tolhurst (drums/keyboards), Porl Thompson (guitars), Jason Cooper (drums), Perry Bamonte (guitar/bass), Boris Williams (drums) 
Associated acts: Joy Division, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Depeche Mode, Japan, Muse
Albums: Three Imaginary Boys (1979); Boys Don’t Cry (1980, USA) Seventeen Seconds (1980); Faith (1981); Pornography (1982); The Top (1984); The Head On The Door (1985); Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me (1987); Disintegration (1989); Wish (1992); Wild Mood Swings (1996); Bloodflowers (2000); The Cure (2004); 4:13 Dream (2008)

The Perfect A-Side for Love, Nightmares and Spectres

1. One Hundred Years  
"It doesn’t matter if we all die" begins Pornography, The Cure’s gothic piece de resistance - a laudably existential opening salvo on this acid fuelled, sensuous and senseless gape into the void. A queasy, lurching guitar line snakes over hissing and processed post punk disco high-hats as the never-ending LSD conveyor keeps on trundling atrocities into view. What a fabulous mess.

2. Lament  
So sad, concise. "Sky colored perfect,/ As the man slipped away. Waving with a last vanilla smile." 'Nuff said.

3. Charlotte Sometimes
Based on Charlotte Sometimes, a children's novel by English writer Penelope Farmer, published in 1969. According to Robert Smith: "Many lines in the song reflect lines directly from the book, such as 'All the faces/ All the voices blur/ Change to one face/ Change to one voice' from the song, compared to the first sentence of the book, 'By bedtime all the faces, the voices, had blurred for Charlotte to one face, one voice.' The song continues, 'Prepare yourself for bed/The light seems bright/And glares on white walls,' and the book continues, 'She prepared herself for bed... The light seemed too bright for them, glaring on white walls...' Melancholy, longing, unrequited; an early single that set a stage. 

4. A Strange Day 
The closest one gets to a moment of relief on Pornography is still a mournful look down the barrel of a gun. Smith's acid-fired jabber becomes the calm delivery of the seer who knows it's too late. The music strangely puts me in mind of Coleridge's "Rhyme Of The Ancient Mariner."

5. Just One More Kiss 
The islands sank, trees fell down, the sky went black, and the oceans rushed into the shore. As all of this was happening, virtual time, the two lovers share a kiss, The End. Everything about '83 was a little extra synthy and dripping in melody, gotta love it. This song is powerful and all around incredible. "Somebody died for this,/ Somebody died,/ For just one kiss"

6. The Drowning Man
One of the best examples of the brooding soundscape that The Cure does best. Completely bleak and hopeless. Hurts just listening to this. "I wish it was all true / I wish it couldn't be a story"

7. Plainsong

Is this the greatest single The Cure never released? Is it the greatest single of all time? Is Disintegration alt.rock's very own Pet Sounds, with every song a stone cold classic? Yes.


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