Articles / Reviews

"…Kick Off This Skin…" – Jeopardy / From The Lion’s Mouth / All Fall Down…Plus by THE SOUND

date: May 1, 2014


 

When you think about how Joy Division, New Order and of course The Cure have been literally deified in the last 30+ years – it’s odd that London’s The Sound don’t hold that same pedestal. Well I’d argue that this brilliant 4CD Edsel Box Set reissue is not only going to change that - but is also a 2014 reissue of the year. There's a shed load on here - so let’s get to the Post Punk details…
 
The mini box set has the 3 original vinyl albums in 5” card repro sleeves with a new card for the fourth BBC set. And the chunky 36-page booklet is fantastically detailed – photos of the albums, inners, 7” singles, record labels, industry adverts, lyrics to all three records and exceptionally good liner notes by TIM PEACOCK (of England’s Record Collector magazine) with contributions from band members. It’s a beautifully presented job.
 
The remasters by PHIL KINRADE at Alchemy are clean, full of presence and power – and really bring out the original production values of Nick Robbins. It’s edgy and full of menace and angst lyrics – love it. And the BBC live stuff in particular has great gusto - the band in full flight and untethered by studio restrictions. 
 
“Jeopardy” is surely a lost Post Punk classic - opening in high form with “I Can’t Escape Myself” where songwriter Adrian Borland has clearly been listening to Television’s “Marquee Moon” just a little too often (lyrics above).  “Missiles” lets the anger rip and the trashy “Heyday” was an obvious if unsuccessful single – but “Unwritten Law” is brilliant and closest to that Joy Division comparison. Fans will love the non-album B-side “Brute Force” on CD at last – kicking like a mule too.
 
The remaster of “Winning” sees the bass pop out of the speakers as the Echo & The Bunnymen melody works its way into your subconscious (its even a little like early Icehouse). The drums and gangling guitars of “Skeletons” have muscle now - as does the rattling percussion intro to “New Dark Age” sounding like a jungle clarion call. I’m so reminded of Joe Jackson’s anger on “Possession” (“There’s a devil in me trying to show its face…”) and the sheer gloom of “Silent Air” haunts even now.
 
By the time it got to “All Fall Down” the misery had only slightly abated to allow something as poppy as “Party Of My Mind” – a great Eighties sound and there’s even tenderness in the moody guitar-chug of “Where The Love Is” (“I want to put that smile on your face…”). Side 2 opens with the delicacy of Max Mayers’ Keyboards on “Song And Dance” while the sophisticated “Calling The New Tune” shows real song maturity and a very definite nod towards Depeche Mode. “We Could Go Far” is superb – Indie yet Mainstream.
 
The live stuff is so much more powerful and exciting – the band lets rip – full of piss and vinegar – with the BBC boffins taping it properly and well. Pete Drummond introduces both sets to a wildly enthusiastic crowd – “Unwritten Law”, “Winning” and “Golden Soldiers” being highlights.
 
So why didn’t The Sound make it – too doomy – too bleeding miserable – probably. But its because they stuck to their ‘sound’ that they’ve engendered such cult status and real affection. And although the Joy Division comparisons are obvious - they deserve credit 'cause there’s a lot on here to love.
 
This is a genius reissue and a fan-pleasing offering – well done to all involved…
 
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