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The Sound - The Fittest Of The Fittest - live review Edinburgh 20-9-1980

date: Sep 20, 1980


 

THE FITTEST OF THE FITTEST 

The Sound LIVE 
Edinburgh 20-9-1980
 

SO, it's a tough world, but sometimes that works to everyone's advantage in breeding tough bands. Who needs the voice of moderation, cos that's a one-way ticket to bland street ... give me passion every time! You don't get a cosy evening when the SOUND are the main attraction. They attack with a strength of purpose that belies any hint of ethereal Liverpoolness suggested by their stunning 'HEYDAY' single. Vocalist/guitarist ADRIAN BORLAND is living proof that you don't have to be tall and gaunt to encroach on the nether reaches of the bleak industrial wastelands (oh yeah?) as typified by Joy Division. But that's only a reference point, rather than an all-encompassing comparison.

The SOUND are strong - a self-contained unit with the confidence and self-belief to forge ahead parallel to (not behind the other forerunners of the modern wave. Whiplash guitar lines cut across rumbling bass/slipstream keyboards as the great outpouring of gut-scream vocals force the sharp introverted songs outward forward. It's true. The SOUND can touch you with their emotions, tenderness born not of pathetic compassion but hate and anger at all you survey. 

Argue all you want about songs not changing the world, but I don't care. You will never convince me that the articulate cry of fury contained in 'BRUTE FORCE' and 'MISSILES' aren't worth a hundred 'Tom Hark's. Commitment and drive combine with a wrench of piercing venom over a stirring backbeat - yeah, yeah, this is the modern dance. Gloom and despondency give way to a remarkable brand of aggressive optimism, cynical acceptance of what is, tempered by hope for what may be. But then they let me down (my stupid preconceptions again!) with a gross grinding version of lggy's "TV EYE', complete with crashingly dull long drawn-out middle section, finally climaxing in the death-throes of a dreadful rock'n roll thrash. I simply couldn't understand why such an uninspiring song was tossed amongst The SOUND's own diamond-hard gems - and to compound the crime with an encore of 'LOUIE LOUIE' made me so bloody angry. It's like this, y'see ... ' despite the band's claims of respect to their "roots" and giving the audience what they want (i.e. recognisable dance music).

The SOUND have songs of their own - virtually every number by my reckoning - to knock spots off old established standards that should have been forgotten in rehearsals. They kick and spit with a bright originality that renders cover versions horrendously obsolete. This I know because they rounded off with a repeat of 'HEYDAY' (a song worth playing twice), lifting my spirits and faith to the previous heights I enjoyed. It's a dynamic forceful approach - the sound of flexing muscles, the flexing muscles of The SOUND. 

JOHNNY WALLER 
SOUNDS 4-10-1980 



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