Love and Rockets - Sorted: Best Of - Not your average goth band

2006-03-29 18:38
With an ultra hip name borrowed from Jaime and Hernandez' 80s underground comic classic they filtered the glam-fuelled rock theatricality of Bowie and T-Rex with a love for retro-60s psychedelic pop and folk into a moody rock recipe that was simultaneously designed for the dance floor. "Kundalini Express" is a swaggering glam pop strut, replete with ripped off Ziggy Stardust riffs, unashamedly sing along cheesy chorus chants ("All aboard the Express Kundalini!") and percussive crescendos. Similarly their cover of "Ball of Confusion" may have a bizarre crap rap refrain ("Rap on brother"), but it's so damn infectious you cannot help be seduced by the sheer majesty of the sonic trip. These are both tracks tailored towards dance floor excess and listening to the swirling T-Rex narcotic layers of "So Alive" (1989) you can just picture the black clad brigade vogue-ing it up in the strobes.
Of course, back in the late 80s, this stuff was deemed edgy, even weird and yes, oh-so "alternative". But - as the folk pop jam "Ying and Yang (The Flowerpot Man") shows - Love and Rockets were not averse to whimsical self-parody either. For every brooding existential meditation like "Holiday on the Moon" and "Mirror People" there's the epic indie guitar breeze of anthems "No New Tale to Tell" and "Haunted When the Minutes Drag". Most revealing of all though are less familiar selections like "Holy Fool" (featuring Luscious Jackson) and "No Big Deal", both stylish electronic excursions clearly pre-dating the electro-clash explosion by half a decade.

Sorted: best of... Odd title choice for a Goth band to choose to sum up their career, isn't it? But then Love and Rockets were hardly your average gloom merchants. Sure, frontman and guitarist Daniel Ash, bassist David J. and drummer Kevin Haskins were once Bauhaus boys. But free from Peter Murphy's pomposity, they carved a comfortable alternative pop niche somewhere between the Smiths, the Cure and Echo & the Bunnymen.

Jean 2004/01/27 2:02 PM
Highly recommended I think the best bands always break with the cliches of their categorisation. In this case, Goth. If you don't know them you must at least know that hit, "So alive" which is pervacious. Go into a music shop and take a listen. Or "No Big Deal" - got to be one of the hottest angry songs about someone you really love but hate right now EVER. Love and Rockets - Love and Rockets (their debut?)
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