Sunday, April 13, 2008

the correct use of soap - magazine

there is something highly claustrophobic about the new wave, post-punk movement; after all the social values against which punk railed, perhaps the only ones brave enough to show the ugly side (despite the condemnation of punk as nihilistic and yobbish, who else has had the guts to reveal the true exploitative nature of the royal family except the sex pistols?), remain seemingly as permanent and indestructible as ever even today thirty years later. for me its encapsulated in the title to magazine's third album (1980) - why does it matter if there is a correct use for soap? who defines what is the correct and incorrect way? should we care, I think so! so whilst you are dreaming up a myriad incorrect uses for soap and revelling in that remaining freedom, allow Howard Deveto (singing), John McGeoch (guitars), Barry Adamson (bass), Dave Formula (keyboards) and John Doyal (drums) to soundtrack such irreverent musings with their brand of nervy, anxiety ridden collection. And does the anxiety seep into everything here! It's a new decade but seemingly there is nothing to celebrate, only the misguided attraction towards being in love which is anything but joyful ('I want to burn again') or based on irrational, negative impulses ('Because you're frightened.') "I'm a party' alludes to the least amount of fun you might have at a party ever - 'a song from under the floorboards' poignantly details the feelings of those who cannot fit in and 'model worker' reveals why because it's about having to fit in with demands of others ("I just want to know while the revolution lasts, will it enable me to swallow broken glass?") Yet despite the disillusion felt, this album avoids drowning in gloom retaining a funky, jaunty edge, with Deveto's often flat, slightly cynical voice the most obvious manifestation of doubt. evident to are all the hallmarks which would eventually be abused throughout the 80s (saxophones, female backing singers, synthesisers) but here are used sparingly to create effect rather than swamp. as relevant today for anyone who feels all at sea in the modern world...

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