The Sound Jeopardy | Golden Vault #13
Welcome to the latest edition of Golden Vault, where we delve into the annals of music to bring you a classic album. Youll know some like the back of your hand and nothing of others. We hope to get you reacquainted with old friends and create new favourites. The album to be taken out of the Golden Vault for reappraisal this week is Jeopardy by post-punks forgotten men The Sound.
Weve all heard thousands of sounds from hundreds of bands, but have you heard of The Sound? The band existed from 1979 until 1988 producing five albums which traversed the same post-punk soundscapes as the likes of Joy Division and Echo And The Bunnymen. Combining the ferocity and energy of the punk scene with more sophisticated musical tools such as synth and deep brooding vocals, Jeopardy and its follow-up From The Lions Mouth make The Sound one of the most unappreciated bands of the post-punk era.
The gentle chugging of the guitar at the start of I Cant Escape Myself belies the fierce intensity of Adrian Borlands powerfully delivered vocals and gritty guitar playing that emerge during the chorus. The poignant lyrics are sung with real aggression and meaning, and the soft verse/loud chorus captures the sense of entrapment perfectly. The striking lead synth riff of Heartland maintains the momentum set by the storming opener, while Hour Of Need is a slightly slower track that still retains the dark intensity that bubbles beneath all the tracks on this album.
Missiles begins off incredibly sinisterly with the instruments fading in and out around a moody bassline, before the drums force them all into lockstep as Borland yells about the dangers of nuclear weapons. Resistance is a fast paced, energetic slab of post-punk power with a massive synth riff that drives the whole song forward. These urgent in-your-face tracks are balanced out by the more mournful Unwritten Law and Desire, where we see Borlands vocals take on a more delicate role. The distinctive dark mood that characterises the best post-punk bands permeates throughout this album, and Borlands earnest lyrics make for a brilliant listen. The chemistry between the instruments is also fantastic; the band know whether a riff should be on guitar or synth, and when to pick up the pace or slow down.
Despite critical acclaim, The Sound never achieved much commercial success with Jeopardy, or its equally wonderful successor From The Lions Mouth. The band released three more albums but fraught record label relations, and Borlands deteriorating mental state ensured the band never had anything more than a cult following.
Following The Sounds split Adrian Borland embarked upon a solo career releasing five studio albums including Brittle Heaven and Beautiful Ammunition. Sadly, like Ian Curtis before him Borland committed suicide, throwing himself in front of a train at Wimbledon Station in 1999. Leaving behind a legacy of over 10 studio albums including The Sounds cult classic Jeopardy.