LORDS OF MADNESS
~reviewed by Mick Mercer
Their final release under this name, for reasons that have yet to made clear, this shows them reaching heights which should rival the biggest of any band from the mainland European scene, as they have more ideas, and their cavorting imagination translates magnificently to the music. It probably isnít helpful to point out that early Depeche Mode constructed songs along similar lines when they got out of their bippity stage and started having deeper impact, in case you think Iím making a comparison, which Iím NOT, but itís an indicator of how easily a major could swoop for these mad creatures. Wasp Factory must hope major labels wake up at some point, and do a tie-in deal.
Itís the voice that impresses first and not just because itís highlighted by mute backing on the brief entrée, but when they get frosty or noisy (apart from the delightfully colourful frenzy of ĎChildí) the clarity and character of the vocals keeps you impressed. Even when not breathless, their songs maintain a decent pace and ideas that never bore flit in and out. They play with their boundaries, going for higher vocals in ĎThe Burningí and a harder glazed furore, but when you have such a huge array of sounds this isnít difficult. They have a truly epic collective imagination, and can hold back, offering serenity with a sour sickening twist, or have a tubercular surge with rasping vocals barking out a rhythm. They scratch at the speakers and bang on their bars, cutting back for a few guitar pleasantries, then sicking up blood and splashing through it, and thatís just Ď My favourite Siní.
They have pop efforts, which seem to be falling apart, thereís a cretinous waste of time (ĎEnd Of Madnessí) and cyberwar from ĎFrom The Sublime To The Obsceneí, but thereís plenty more oscillating ogres besides, and best of all itís all got class, and it sounds aggravated.