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The Sound - Live at the Venue/London (Record Mirror 30-1-1982)

date: Jan 30, 1982

THE SOUND The Venue. London 21-1-1982

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes. The Sound break free from their self -imposed chains of despair and strive forward with a surging, powerful vigour. They are not pretty and neither is the music. Rather their songs cleanse and absolve, transforming Adrian Borland's soul - searching into a cathartic baptism of fire. Although Adrian handles vocals. guitar and writes most of the material, the others play an equally essential rote in bringing the tunes to their fruition, Thrashing keyboards, crashing chords and twitchy, unpredictable drums suddenly close ranks in a universal, uplifting thrust of intent, filling the air with an almost religious sense of purpose. This despite the consistent pessimism of the lyrics which Borland uses as his confessional, pouring out torrents of probing, questioning neuroses. At times he resembles a man possessed, eyes rolling and legs askew, wrenching out feedback in an echoing row amidst the frenzied lights, Stuff like 'Skeletons', 'Winning' and Fatal Flaw' all rise and fall with dramatic effect. Mike Dudley's cymbals chattering like frostbitten kids. Lines like 'I Can't Escape Myself' really hit the nail on the head, but then most of the songs contain their fair share of pointed remarks. Much of their material is taken from their second 'From The Lion's Mouth' LP whilst a few newies are also throve In. each showing a similar basinful of introspection and selfdoubt. The concluding 'New Dark Age' appears to have taken over from 'Missiles' as a live tour de force though in a short, non - indulgent set none of the cuts are exactly superfluous. With the current state of play. The Sound will never be huge. Not because their music is excessively esoteric or inaccessible - just too moody and challenging for mass tastes. Maybe by their fifth album the world will have caught up with them.

Mike Nicholls (Record Mirror 30-1-1982)

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