(The Big Take-Over '95)
"Top 40" reviews of 1995
by Jack Rabid
#37 "The Rapture"
This delicious LP makes it clear: the Banshees wish that 1991's "Superstition" never happened as much as the rest of us! Since the sound and style so well picks up the delicate, "spell-binding" thread they left off on with '88's excellent "Peepshow", we'd all do best to take a "Stalinist view" and pretend the putrid "Superstition" never existed! (to borrow a phrase from your Mick Jones/Clash interview in issue 31). John Cale's production on half the tracks, and the band's on the rest, return them to terrific, non-facile clouds of sound, and the material is stronger. The single, "O Baby", while OK, is, like the incongruous "Peek-a-Boo" was to "Peepshow": it's a bit of a red-herring, as it fails to reveal the back-to-luscious textures that spin here on such tracks as "Stargazer" and "The Double Life," which remind favorably of "Scarecrow," or further back, "Happy House." Even better, the late '70's/early '80's belligerence and bass/drums whomp is back, on "Falling Down" (check Steve Severin's malicious manhandling of his bass-strings) and the closing "Love Out Me," the two most combative, crashing cuts the Banshees have unleashed since "Candyman." Freed from drum-machine-deadsville-land, the always inventive Budgie goes back to creating great tribal rhythms throughout, especially on the 11-minute, bastardized-lullaby title track (their answer to the Damned's "Curtain Call?"), and Siouxsie coos as gently and as sourly as ever. Now this is what you call a return to form!
Never mind about the import single, though. Only one non-LP track is not value for money at $12 -- and besides, "B Side Ourselves" is a nothing-special toss-off -- as track three is just a remix of the A-side (what a rip-off).