It's been ages since I posted here and so many albums I have neglected to even compose the beginnings of a review... in order to catch up I am going to cheat and keep everything to a sentence, hoping to capture the essence somehow.
PS Except for The Cure all of these albums are from the 1980s
The Crackdown - Cabaret Voltaire
Grimy and forbidding, the sound of steel shutting down, nihilistic shopping centres and underground car parks, not to mention wildly innovative.
Head on The Door / The Top / Disintegration / The Cure / Faith / Japanese Whispers / Pornography / Wish / Seventeen Seconds / 4:13 Dream / Mixed Up - The Cure
In the search for the perfect emotional rush - be it happiness, heaven, gloom, despair, optimism, hope, fear, boredom, tension - The Cure just about nails every one you could ever imagine; they are more than essential, they are vital.
Voice:The best of Eyeless in Gaza - Eyeless in Gaza
Two men, a synthesiser and effortless amounts of quiet creativity
Immigrant / Promise / Voodoo Dollies: The Best of Gene Loves Jezebel - Gene Loves Jezebel
Perfect before they decided to go all Bon Jovi, the Welsh coalfields meets melancholy meets two oddly-coiffed brothers makes dark, wild fairy stories
Life in the Gladhouse: The Best of Modern English - Modern English
Bizarrely labelled as 'Goth' more agitated popsters producing some interesting tunes (some which appear to have inspired LCD Soundsystem), unfortunately remembered only for their soppiest offering 'Melt with You'
Swimming / Spectators of Life - The Names
Finally a group to dispel notions that the Belgians can only produce good beer and chocolate, lovely dreamy, wobbly pop to fall in love with - 'Life by the Sea' going onto my list of the most beautiful songs ever
For all and none / Pindrop - The Passage
Britain seems to be good at producing dramatic, if obscure, intelligent pop, The Passage are no exception even if sometimes they come across like a typical English day, wet and murky
If I Die, I Die - The Virgin Prunes
There is no justice in the world that the flamboyant, sarcastic, entertaining, over-the-top 'Prunes should not be as famous as their childhood friends, U2
Garlands - The Cocteau Twins
Before they started cooing of elle megablast burls and itchy glowbos, the Cocteau Twins exercised a darker imagination, captured here in all its stark beauty
Here Comes Everyone - The Wake
Etheral vocals, woozy sounds, lovelorn lyrics and dainty guitar, The Wake represent the template for many an 80s / 90s twee Indie band; there are many moments of sublimity e.g. 'All I asked you to do' which sets a high standard for tugging at your heartstrings
In the Flat Field - Bauhaus
Help! this is scary stuff, the desperate sound of a band struggling to get out of the East Midlands (I know how that feels...)