FAITH & DISEASE
PASSPORT TO KUMMING (Projekt)
~review by Mick Mercer
An old release, yes, but when Eric suggested sending it I was happy to agree, because I use this journal to write about music, mainly. That can be brand new, that can be old. So, any bands with post 2000AD releases, may feel free to send them (Address details on my homepage). The only distinction I would make is that new releases will get priority.
What we have here is more from the Ethereal side of Goth, but with a bolder remit to strip sound down, but still keep things solid. In many ways they remind me of how different Bang Bang Machine sounded in the UK during the Shoegazing era. (Remember the enthralling ‘Geek Love’?) They have that lightness of being, but quite a mad, angular approach to some of the background sound, and unpredictable guitar. Soft vocals inflate as they make their dangerous journey over poisoned obstacles.
‘She’s Got A Halo’ could be what Joy Division might have sounded like if they had been a Goth band, with burning bass. The remix at the end is worth the price alone. ‘Dyslexia’ shows their usual knack of being slow without just resting on dreaminess, because they assume their form so strongly, with intriguing percussion.
‘How Far Does The Sky Go’ sees piano softening dark, morose passages, and if anything I guess this album sounds a little more mature than most Ethereal music, without becoming pompous. The guitar fuzz in ‘Between The Folds’ is strange; vocal fingers waving over some swooning bass, and the exquisite ‘Lost In Translation’ reminds me a little of the early 80’s bands, but without lyrical frills.
Strangest track is ‘Impermanence’ that seems almost Scandinavian art-rock, from the time of Bo Hansson, scraping a mood off grim guitar and nervy vocals, and then we have the tinkling historical feel of ‘Girl At The Window’ where Butch Cassidy & Sundance finally retreat into the shadows when Dara’s reflective singing takes hold.
The cover of ‘Made Of Wood’ is also a bit odd, because we’re suddenly introduced to a different lyrical structure and more of a folk-rock style, and then it’s remix time.
Not a huge album, maybe, and almost modest in tone, it is nevertheless very high quality, and if you missed it first time round go sleuth like mad things.
SHE’S GOT A HALO