MOJO (December '04)

Siouxsie And The Banshees

* * * (3 stars)

Downside Up

Though now possibly the least trendy UK punk band, in their own way the Banshees pushed out the three-chord envelope every bit as boldly as The Clash. Kaleidoscope, their biggest-selling album, cuts an eyebrow raisingly experimental dash by today's standards. Here we see how that frontier-challenging bent was given freer rein still within the pressure-free environment of the flipside-and, in some cases (Coal Mind, Shooting Sun), yielded truly A-worthy results. The high-quality rubric was set with early nuggets like Drop Dead Celebration, a frosty au revoir to errant Banshees John McKay and Kenny Morris. Bizarre mutations arose: industrial/dub/da-da (Snap Dash Snap), pre-techno ambient-funk (Quarterdrawing Of The Dog). Some great covers, too: a goth/funk-merging take on Ben E. King's Supernatural Thing, The Modern Lovers' She Cracked, initially unrecognisable, utterly terrifying. The strings-assisted Thorn EP occupies CD4. Overall, it's hardly a consistent listen, but full of blinding moments.

Andrew Perry

Contributed by Bonnie Bryant.

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