Welcome to March and what is the biggest week of releases for Indie Basement this year so far. There’s the terrific second album from Yard Act, and the anticipated Manchester superduo of Liam Gallagher (Oasis) and John Squire (The Stone Roses), plus new albums from Sheer Mag, The Bevis Frond, SAVAK, Uranium Club, and Aussie prog-disco outfit Mildlife. It’s a good week of releases!

Over in Notable Releases, Andrew listens to the latest from Mannequin Pussy, Pissed Jeans, Schoolboy Q, and more.

Speaking of Mildlife, they made us a list of ’70s prog-disco essentials. And if you need more Basement-friendly stuff from this week, here you go: The Damned’s classic ’80s lineup (Vanian, Sensible, Scabies, Gray) are touring here for the first time in 35 years; PJ Harvey announced her first North American tour in seven years; Miracle Legion announced a reunion tour; and Les Savy Fav are gearing up to release their first album in 14 years.

You can also catch up on last month with the Indie Basement: Best Songs & Albums of February 2024 roundup.

For folks who’ll be in NYC next week: the BrooklynVegan showcase at the New Colossus Festival has a number of Indie Basment Faves on the lineup. Hope to see you there!

ALBUM OF THE WEEK #1: Yard Act – Where’s My Utopia? (Island/Republic)
The talky UK band move beyond post-punk on their ambitious, poppy and danceable second album. To quote one of its songs, “it’s Ace!”

I reviewed Yard Act’s excellent second album elsewhere on the site but here’s just a bit of that:

Where’s My Utopia? Is brimming with confidence, ambition, wit, fun, and big hooks. As to the latter, they are not ashamed to write catchy songs which is the subject of “We Make Hits,” a meta bit of bragging, statement of intent and Yard Act origin story all in one dance floor filler. “We make hits…but not hits like Nile Rodgers,” Smith sings, knowing they probably won’t be displacing Taylor Swift on the charts, then rhyming it with “just that we ain’t hook dodgers.” Yard Act’s choruses are massive and instantaneous, and working with Gorillaz drummer and producer Remi Kabaka Jr. they’ve expanded their palette well beyond the post-punk signifiers of their debut. They’ve embraced disco (the ABBA kind), lush ’80s new wave sophisti-pop (the Wham! kind), and hip hop rhythms (the ’90s kind), while still keeping those groovy basslines and angular guitars (the Gang of Four kind).

Read the whole review here.

liam gallagher john squire album art

ALBUM OF THE WEEK #2: Liam Gallagher & John Squire – Liam Gallagher John Squire (Warner Music)
The Manchester superduo of former Oasis frontman and Stone Roses guitarist make the best record either have made since those bands initial runs

I also reviewed the debut album from this Manc Britpop dream team of John Squire (The Stone Roses) and Liam Gallagher (Oasis) elsewhere on BrooklynVegan. But here’s just a bit:

“Here comes that feeling, here it comes again.” That is indeed the feeling you get listening to “Mars to Liverpool” by the Manchester superduo of former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher and former Stone Roses guitarist John Squire. The swaying chorus is a mile high as Squire spits out swaggering riffs that pull you back to the height of Britpop. Let’s just get this out of the way: Liam Gallagher John Squire is the best thing either have done since the ’90s. That makes for good headline fodder but anyone who has followed their respective careers knows that’s not saying all that much. Still! This album is good, full-stop, no qualifiers. Squire, who gets sole writing credit on every song here, still has some tunes in his back pocket, and there are flashes of their old brilliance not to mention that cocky Northern attitude.

Read the whole review here.

The Bevis Frond – Focus On Nature (Fire Records)
Nick Saloman is one of England’s national treasures and his band’s 26th (?) album is another gem

Not unlike Robert Pollard with Guided by Voices, Nick Saloman has been leading London’s The Bevis Frond since the mid-’80s, with dozens of albums and lineup changes in his wake. He’s got a signature sound too: a stormy brand of indie rock that’s steeped in folky ’70s British psychedelia, windswept melodies, and ragged guitar solos. Saloman is not quite as prolific as Pollard, but Bevis Frond records feel a little more fussed over. Depending on how you count, Focus on Nature lands somewhere around Album #26, and is a sprawling, 19-song, 75-minute double LP that is awesome in scope. Saloman just turned 71 but you’d never know it with songs like “Jacks Immortal,” a hooky ripper complete with a killer twin-lead riff. Every detail seems considered, even if Nick sometimes sounds like he just woke up. The basslines are fantastic, as are the minor key harmonies, and Saloman possesses a full house of choice guitar tones — see the wonderful, Big Star-ish “Maybe We Got it Wrong” as one of many pieces of evidence. Focus on Nature might benefit from some editing — save a few of these for an EP, perhaps? — but I’d be hard-pressed to tell him what to cut. Saloman has earned the right to indulgence, and his is the sweetest kind.

Focus On Nature by The Bevis Frond

sheer mag playing favorites album cover

Sheer Mag – Playing Favorites (Third Man)
After a decade of Thin Lizzy worship, this Philly band seriously level up for their first album for Jack White’s Third Man Records

Philly band Sheer Mag have been around for a full decade now and while I’ve always enjoyed their live shows, I can’t say I’ve been compelled to listen to their records at home. But on Playing Favorites, their third album and debut for Jack White’s Third Man Records, they have moved beyond garage punk and Thin Lizzy worship — they’ve definitely got the twin lead thing down — and are on to other matters. “Nobody seems to write straight up rock bangers anymore,” says bandleader Tina Halliday of the album, “more than anything else, we want this record to put huge, catchy songwriting front and center.” Playing Favorites is a major level up that is jam-packed with bangers of all shapes and sizes. Suzi Quattro-style power pop (the title track) and hot-lick rippers (“Eat It and Beat It”) were already within their wheelhouse, but the hooks are sharper and the arrangements more inventive. Then there are songs you’d have never expect from Sheer Mag, like “Moonstruck” which almost sounds like a Jackson 5 song, or “Mechanical Garden” which starts like something they might’ve done five years ago before dramatically switching gears, via a strings-and-harp scene transition, into a greasy disco-rock number. Almost all of it works and across it all Halliday is singing her heart out. This time, there are tunes worthy of her pipes.

Playing Favorites by SHEER MAG


Mildlife – Chorus (Heavenly)
Third album from Melbourne prog-disco is a seriously groovy good time

In a feature Australian band Mildlife wrote for this website about their favorite ’70s Prog-Disco tracks, they opened with this: “What is Prog-Disco? Is it disco music inspired by progressive rock? Is it progressive rock music with a rhythm section that passed on the psychedelics? Is it disco music that pushes the boundaries? If the monotonous progression of time is as linear as a 4/4 kick drum, then is life Prog-Disco? We cannot answer those questions for you, but we can provide you with things we like that we feel fits the mold. The aforementioned progression of time has rendered this music unserious to many people ears, but it is profoundly serious. Serious Fun.” This kind of stuff is definitely kitschy but if you have a taste for vintage synthesizers, vocoder and flutes, you may have already pre-ordered Chorus. Prog-Disco neophytes might want to head straight to 10-minute closing track “Return to Centaurus,” which is the album’s showstopper, laying down an amazing “too slow to disco” groove while the entire universe seems to pass through the speakers. If you dig that, the rest of the album is an interstellar pleasure cruise.

Chorus by Mildlife

SAVAK-FOP-12 Jacket-3mm Spine_TVTI-GDOB-30H3-007-03.indd

SAVAK – Flavors of Paradise (Peculiar Works / Ernest Jenning Record Co)
The sixth album from this Brooklyn band is their tastiest yet

“There are things to learn / there are things to unlearn,” SAVAK sing on “Welcome to the New Age,” one of the standout cuts on their sixth album, Flavors of Paradise. Led by Sohrab Habibion (Obits, Edsel) and Michael Jarowski (Cops), the band have become one of the most reliable indie rock bands in Brooklyn and a great exception to the rule that this is a young person’s game. Jaworski and Habibion, along with drummer Matt Schulz (Enon, Holy Fuck), have been in bands since the early ’90s (in some cases, before) but are making some of the best music of their careers right now. Maybe it’s because they’re truly doing it for the love of the music and as a creative outlet, with no real ambitions of “making it” (though I’m sure they’d love a few prominent sync placements), the great stuff still pours out. They’ve also become an increasingly tighter, homogeneous unit both musically and lyrically, making their albums more cohesive. When Jarowski’s pop instincts rub up against the grit of Habibion’s more angular tendencies, many pearls a created on SAVAK’s most toothsome album yet.

Flavors Of Paradise by SAVAK

uranium club Infants Under The Bulb

Uranium Club – Infants Under the Bulb (Static Shock)
This enigmatic Minneapolis band is just as weird, hyper and awesome as ever on their first album in six years

In our age of being always online and oversharing, Minneapolis’ Uranium Club still feel like a mystery. They have almost no internet presence of their own, and albums come with obtuse press releases that read like a massive prank that only they understand. The record artwork is just as weird, but fascinating and benefits those who read the fine print of the credits, examine the covers with a magnifying glass, and look at vinyl runout grooves. Like Devo (a clear inspiration), Uranium Club are a total package. With no website or social media, you also have no idea when new music is coming, if ever, making something like Infants Under the Bulb feel like a surprise gift from someone you’ve never actually met. This is their first since 2018’s The Cosmo Cleaners and they’ve spent the last six years winding their gears tighter and tighter before letting things explode here Things only slow down for a series of interludes titled “The Wall” where a story plays out, narrated by a very calm woman over new age synthesizer landscapes. Otherwise these songs are as hyperactive, anxious, and catchy as ever, and even the one titled “1-800-Lullaby” may cause some to grind their teeth. Your mileage may very on whether all that angst is a good time but you have to admire their dedication to every aspect of the Club,

You also have to admire, in this age of AI, the Infants Under the Bulb cover art which is an actual photo featuring “a crowd of the local volunteers wearing ponchos standing together in an open field to make the shape of a giant spiral.” They continue: “The spiral pictured is 120 feet (36.5 meters) wide, photographed by drone, and was plotted out on the ground using a protractor specially fabricated for the occasion by the band with a pivoting centre and 60ft long adjustable arm.” This warrants a vinyl purchase alone.

Infants Under The Bulb by Uranium Club

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Classic Goth’s 13 Greatest Albums

red lorry yellow lorry talk about the weather

Red Lorry, Yellow Lorry – Talk About the Weather

Like Sisters of Mercy, Red Lorry Yellow Lorry hailed from Leeds, England and, early on, cribbed from Joy Division, with singer/guitarist Chris Reed sounding eerily like Ian Curtis at times — though more often there was more ferocity than fragility in his growl. (Their records may beg otherwise but, for what it's worth, the band say their primary influence was MC5.) By the time of their 1985 debut album, Talk About the Weather, the Lorries had figured out their own variant within the genre and had become good songwriters, too. A lot of RLYL's best-ever songs are here, including the anthemic, Wire-eque "Hand on Heart" and the driving, danceable single "Hollow Eyes." With a mix of rhythm boxes and live drums, the scrappy mid-'80s indie production on Talk About the Weather has held up remarkably well, with songs like the punky, rigid "Happy," and the strutting title track which sounds rough, tough and dour, without ever laying it on too thick. chameleons

The Chameleons – The Script of the Bridge

While generally not lumped in with the early-'80s goth scene — like Killing Joke they leaned more "post-punk" — Manchester's The Chameleons have all the earmarks of the sound: Reg Smithies and Dave Fielding's delay-soaked guitars, that could be both driving and dreamy, John Lever's massive drums, and the foreboding bass and melodrama-drenched voice of frontman Mark Burgess. No matter what genre you put them in, their debut album, The Script of the Bridge, is fantastic. The Chameleons didn't sing about vampires, but Burgess painted a paranoid world where the walls were constantly closing in and "I must've died a thousand times, feeling less than human in God's eyes." Burgess' empathy, and Smithies and Fielding's inventive, interwoven guitar playing, make Script of the Bridge a marvel still today. The Cramps - Off the Bone

Off the Bone

Many groups projected a dark image, but The Cramps' Lux Interior seemed like the kind of person you would not want to encounter in a dark alley, and his band's music — bare bones rockabilly — was a party that always seemed seconds away from turning into a fight with broken liquor bottles, or perhaps the undead. It was mostly in good, campy fun, though, with Lux, guitarist Poison Ivy and the rest of the band (that included Kid "Congo" Powers for many years) spinning tales of the radioactive wasteland of the '50s nuclear family, fueled by late night TV and b-grade monster movies. Off the Bone, a UK compilation of the band's best stuff to date that was released while they were still in their early prime, has pretty much everything you need by The Cramps, including early classic "Human Fly," the lusty horror of "Goo Goo Muck," covers of "Fever" and "Surfin Bird," and hedonist anthem "New Kind of Kick." Bonus points: Off The Bone's amazing movie-poster-style cover art illustration is done in old-school 3-D, and original copies came with those red and green glasses needed to make it come alive. Virgin Prunes - If I Die I Die

Virgin Prunes – If I Die, I Die

Featuring not one, not two, but three very eccentric, flamboyant frontmen with voices to match — not to mention The Edge's brother, Dik, on guitar — Dublin's Virgin Prunes were genuine weirdos whose music was hard to pigeonhole but dipped often enough into the macabre to fit right in at the Batcave alongside Specimen and Sex Gang Children. Gavin Friday and Guggi were the main vocalists, sounding a bit like a new wave Smeagol and Gollum, with Dave-iD Busaras rounding out the trio of voices. (As teenagers, Friday and Guggi co founded an arty gang in Dublin called the Lypton Village with Bono; all members, like Dave-iD, were given new names that reflected their "true character.") Live shows were theatrical and confrontational — to the point of getting them banned from a few clubs — and the Prunes were known for high-concept releases like their "A New Form of Beauty" series which laid out their M.O. that being different was beautiful. In that respect Virgin Prunes were very beautiful indeed, as is their 1982 debut which was produced by Wire's Colin Newman. Ranging from mascara-smeared mutant disco ("Baby Turns Blue," "Pagan Lovesong"), to pretty pop ("Ballad of the Man") and creepy mood pieces ("Decline and Fall," "Theme for a Thought"), If I Die, I Die is a terrific, one-of a kind record for those willing to take the leap. Dead Can Dance - Spleen and Ideal

Dead Can Dance – Spleen and Ideal

While Dead Can Dance's music has become known for its sweeping, globe-trotting influences, the band began life in Australia as a more standard fare goth group, albeit one with two powerful singers: Lisa Gerrard, capable of vocal acrobatics and glossolalia (4AD's Ivo Watts-Russell said she used her voice "like a weapon"); and Brendan Perry whose melodramatic baritone could give Scott Walker a run for his money. It's what makes their 1984 self-titled debut gripping, even as they were still finding their sound (and dealing with hastily recorded, tinny production). It's their next album, though, where Dead Can Dance blossom into the group we know today, one who sounds like it belongs in a 300-year-old cathedral and not a grimy rock club. In fact, Spleen & Ideal's opening three tracks sound like church (a very ancient, ornate one), but from there the album opens up wide, incorporating '60s and '70s soundtrack music, grandiose strings (that furthered comparisons to Walker), and baroque arrangements and influences from around the world. You can still hear their post-punk origins in songs like "Advent" and "Avatar," but Dead Can Dance were now writing the kind of grandiose compositions other groups used as walk-on music. It'll End in Tears

This Mortal Coil – It’ll End in Tears

This Mortal Coil was the passion project of Ivo Watts-Russell, the founder of 4AD Records, where, with help from studio wiz John Fryer, he could take some of his favorite songs and turn them into spare, lush midnight music. Ivo couldn't play an instrument, but he knew what he wanted things to sound like. “It worked between us because we were both depressed motherfuckers at the time," said Fryer in 4AD biography Facing the Other Way. "He trusted me in the studio." TMC's first single remains their defining moment, an unforgettable cover of Tim Buckley's "Song to the Siren" featuring Cocteau Twins' Elizabeth Fraser and Robin Guthrie. To follow it up, Ivo called on most of his label's roster, including members of Dead Can Dance, The Wolfgang Press, Xmal Deutschland, and more. The result was It'll End in Tears, which blends Ivo's ear for covers with evocative nighttime instrumentals. "Song to the Siren" is here and Fraser also sings lead on a string quartet version of Roy Harper's "Another Day." There's also two knockout Big Star covers: " Kangaroo," featuring Magazine's Howard Devoto (and an incredible arrangement by Cocteau Twins' Simon Raymonde), and "Holocaust" sung by Cindytalk's Gordon Sharp. The album also features 4AD's other most famous voice, Dead Can Dance's Lisa Gerrard, who sings on three songs. A rocking cover of Colin Newman's "Not Me" breaks the mood a little, but It'll End in Tears is still prime comedown music for those who like it dark.

Cocteau Twins – Treasure

When Cocteau Twins released their 1982 debut album, Garlands, there were flashes of the ethereal band they would become, but at that point they were basically better-than-most Banshees clones with a talented guitarist and promising lead singer. They improved by leaps and bounds on 1983's Head Over Heels, with Elizabeth Fraser flexing her vocal muscles and Robin Guthrie spinning delicate webs of guitar on "Sugar Hiccup." But it was Treasure, their first album as a trio with multi instrumentalist Simon Raymonde, where Cocteau Twins became the otherworldly group fans obsess over still. A truly gorgeous album, Treasure sounded like nothing else at the time, with Fraser's multi-octave range spiraling skyward, intertwined with Guthrie's celestial fretwork. Brian Eno was actually approached to produce but — according to 4AD's Ivo Watts-Russell — told the band, "I’m really flattered that you’ve asked, but I’d never have had the courage to use the size of reverb that you used on Head Over Heels!” and suggested they do it themselves. Which they did with fantastic results. Though their sound had mutated, Cocteau Twins were also still very, very goth, from the mix of synthy chimes and swirling acoustics of "Ivo" to the ornate melodrama of "Beatrix," the crashing, thunderous drum machines and jagged guitar and slithering bass of "Persephone" and "Cicely," and the choral ice palace of "Donimo." You also cannot discount the visual aspect of the Cocteaus, from Vaughn Oliver's iconic Treasure artwork (which adorned the walls of many a teenage goth's bedroom in the '80s), to their coifs that were as meticulously crafted as their music. Treasure is as much a world of lace and candles as Stevie Nicks was inhabiting at the time, just not one where Tom Petty might show up. bauhaus mask

Bauhaus – Mask

In many ways, it's hard to get much more goth than Bauhaus, a four-piece from Northampton, UK whose introduction to the world was a 10-minute creep-out named after the actor who played Dracula that featured skeleton-like frontman Peter Murphy bellowing "I'm dead! I'm dead! I'm dead! I'm dead!" Bauhaus were a very talented band that pulled from a variety of sources, from glam (they all loved Bowie) to dub reggae, disco, and the many groups who'd just sprung up in the nascent post-punk scene. Though people at the time mostly focused on Murphy's "dark lord" presence, Bauhaus also featured the songwriting talents of bassist David J and guitarist/saxophonist Daniel Ash, while David's brother, Kevin Haskins, was a subtle beast behind the drumkit. Having left 4AD after their striking 1980 debut, In the Flat Field, Bauhaus released their second album, Mask, in 1981 via Beggars Banquet. While it may not contain anything as iconic as "Bela Lugosi's Dead" or "Dark Entries," Mask is an improvement over In the Flat Field across-the-board, with better songs, better production and arrangements, and more varied material. The album rips open with the pounding, urgent "Hair of the Dog" and songs like the breathless "Passion of Lovers," funky "Kick in the Eye" and skronky disco number "In Fear of Fear" are classics, as are the ferocious "Dancing" and "The Man with X-Ray Eyes." Mask's greatest quality may be that, as heavy as it can be, it's also fun, with welcome flashes of wry humor (mostly from David J) — a quality that most of their dead-serious contemporaries lacked. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds - Tender Prey

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Tender Prey

"Unfortunately all the worst sides of my output in my creative life seem to have been adopted by people as the most influential ones," Nick Cave told NME writer Jack Barron back in 1988, shortly before the release of Tender Prey, speaking of his influence on the goth rock scene. "I'd hate to go down in history as the No 1 goth, the man who spawned a thousand goth bands with stacked hairstyles, no personality, pale sick people." As far as pale sick people went, Cave's late-'70s/early-'80s band The Birthday Party were arguably the sickest of them all (and plenty pale even without corpse paint), bringing a genuine intensity — and palpable threat of violence — to their live shows and, to a lesser extent, their records. Going solo with the Bad Seeds, Cave dialed back the fury and noise, opting instead for a more suave and sophisticated musical approach while still exploring his favorite themes — love, sex, death, religion — with the fire and brimstone fervor of a man on the brink. With a Murderers' Row lineup of the Bad Seeds, including Kid "Congo" Powers, Einstersturzende Neubauten's Blixa Bargeld, Mick Harvey, Roland Wolf, and Thomas Wylder, Cave delivered his greatest record to date. Tender Prey opens with "The Mercy Seat," which remains one of The Bad Seeds' signature songs, sung from the point of view of a man awaiting execution on the electric chair, and is as riveting as it gets. And the album keeps delivering, be it groovy garage rock rock ("Oh Deanna"), lush '60s orch pop ("Slowly Goes the Night"), or spaghetti western ballads ("Mercy"). Death was at the heart of nearly every song, and with Cave's distinctive baritone wail, Tender Prey is as gothic as it gets, even if in his case, the bats had long left the belfry. the cure faith

The Cure – Faith

Picking one album by The Cure for this list is difficult, as there are at least three from the '80s that are contenders. If you want them wallowing in despair, it's Pornography. If you still want them wallowing but with lots of hits, it's Disintegration. But 1981's Faith is where Robert Smith fully embraced the moping as a stylistic choice, while still retaining a little spring in his step — and the more minimal sound — that they sported on their first two albums. Things might've turned out differently, though. "The initial demos that we did in my mom and dad’s dining room are really quite upbeat," Robert Smith told Rolling Stone. But then, the whole band had a close death in the family. "Within about two weeks, the whole mood of the band had completely changed. I wrote 'The Funeral Party' and 'All Cats Are Grey” in one night, and that really set the tone for the album." Memorable, drowned basslines lead more songs than not (see "Other Voices," "Holy Hour," the title track) and work in tandem with tom-heavy drum patterns. Guitars spin delicate threadwork, glacial synthesizers spread permafrost, and brittle echo covers everything. Despite a couple relatively upbeat tracks, Robert Smith seems resigned to his mood, as is evident just from song titles like "The Funeral Party," "The Drowning Man" and, what's one of the best, most Cure-like titles ever, "All Cats Are Grey." Faith is a mood, but Smith and company haven't completely shut all the curtains just yet. joy division - closer

Joy Division – Closer

So much of what we know as classic "goth" was born out of Joy Division's sound that it's both difficult to overestimate the band's significance and, for some, to understand their significance, as Ian Curtis' tortured vocals, Peter Hook's basslines, Stephen Morris' tom-heavy drumming and Bernard Sumner's wiry guitars have been imitated endlessly since. (See nearly every band on this list in some way or another.) But where some of the other artists to follow in their footsteps appropriated their style because they liked the way it sounded and looked, Joy Division were the real deal. Closer was the group's defining, final statement, released two months after the suicide of Curtis. (The cover art, featuring a tombstone from an Italian cemetery, was in production before his death.) "This is the way, step inside," our guide Curtis sings on the album's opening song, "Atrocity Exhibition," letting us into a dark world that is all rolling drums, moody bass, and guitars that sound nearly as industrial as the factory machines producer Martin Hannett mixed in. That tone stayed throughout the album: "Isolation," with its icy synthesizers and rapid-fire bass; the metallic, heavy "Colony"; the death disco of "A Means to An End"; the sleek, sexy "Heart and Soul"; and the somber closing tracks "The Eternal" and "Decades." The mood is bleak and unrelenting, though Martin Hannett may have hit on the best description, at least for this list's purposes: "dancing music with Gothic overtones." Siouxsie & the Banshees - Juju

Siouxsie & the Banshees – Juju

Siouxsie & The Banshees' 1980 album, Kaleidoscope, was their first to feature both drummer Budgie and former Magazine guitarist John McGeoch, but it was their next album that took full advantage of the new lineup's alchemy. Spinning off the highs of Kaleidoscope singles "Happy House" and "Christine" (and 1980 standalone single "Israel"), the Banshees pushed the highs even higher for what is their best album, mixing dark, mysterious world influences into their signature sound that has proved highly influential on countless bands, whether the Banshees liked it or not. McGeoch, whose inventive playing is across-the-board fantastic here, was quoted in the liner notes for the 2006 reissue of Juju that it was “simply not true” that the Banshees were goth. “It simplifies things too much to give it a label like that. We were more thriller than horror movie, more Hitchcockian blood-dripping-on-a-daisy than putting fangs in something.” The band protest too much, especially on a record involving voodoo, witches and a song titled "Halloween," not to mention the general creepy atmosphere of inky classics like "Spellbound," "Arabian Nights," "Night Shift," and Siouxsie's next-level vocal performance on "Head Cut." But like most great albums, Juju transcends genre, even if its sound was mimicked by dozens of inferior bands. sisters of mercy floodland

The Sisters of Mercy – Floodland

If Joy Division unwittingly helped create goth, and the closing of Batcave signaled the end, then Sisters of Mercy welded the lid shut with the over-the-top late-'80s widescreen glory that is 1987's Floodland. When members Wayne Hussey and Craig Adams left the group to form The Mission (UK), Andrew Eldritch and erstwhile drum machine Doktor Avalanche initially renamed themselves Sisterhood but soon refashioned Sisters of Mercy with former Bags/Gun Club bassist Patricia Morrison to make their defining statement. (Morrison, who would later join The Damned, doesn't actually play on the album, but her face looks out across the water on the album cover, and her style added much to the videos from this record.) At the center of the album is the truly epic "This Corrosion" which was produced by Jim Steinman — who wrote and produced Meatloaf's Bat Out of Hell albums (and "Total Eclipse of the Heart" and more) — which is so ridiculous (the 40-piece choir) it tips fully into genius. It's not even the best song; that would be "Lucretia My Reflection" with its killer bassline, ferociously whispered vocals and mix of power chords, synths and thundering drums. There's also opener "Dominion" / "Mother Russia," the crawling, synthy "Flood 1," the windswept acoustics of "Flood II," and sullen torch song "1959." In a genre that is rarely subtle, Eldritch swings for the fences and connects right down to the clever/stupid line for a home run. Turn it up loud, let the Floodland wash over you and sing "This Corrosion" with him.

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