Time Out (10.22.03)

The Creatures 'Hai!' Sioux Records

The pounding, pulsating, pulverising threeminute, 22-second drum solo that leadsoff this album lets you know exactly what you're in for here one hell of a time if you're suffering from a hangover. The inspiration for Siouxsie and Budgie's mesmeric fifth album as The Creatures comes from the Far East, and the backbone of the album is formed by the ancient taiko rhythms of ex-Kodo drummer Leonard Eto, Budgie's co-conspirator on percussion. The Japanese influence doesn 't end with Eto 'Hai!' was recorded in Tokyo, the title and credits are Japanese ('Hai!' means 'Yes!'), artist Kimiko Yoshida provided the stark cover, and the songs have titles such as 'Godzilla', 'Imagoro' and 'Tantara!'.

In the wrong hands, this could have turned into Rhythm Sticks meets Yo! Sushi, but that wasn't going to happen while Siouxsie is around. Her voice is the dominant instrument here, snaking and curling around the bouncing drumming backdrop, elegiac and inhuman as she chants, purrs and whispers her way around the album. The centrepiece is the tense, sensual, whirl of 'Tourniquet', a spellbinding nine minutes around which the rest of the album hangs, awed but notunbowed by its presence. 'Landlocked/ wind and bind/you grind and grind', growlsSiouxsie with a seductive sneer. It's a virile, sultry salute to lust and bondage, and will cure anybody of their hangover.

A spine-tingling achievement.

Peter Watts

Contributed by Jerry Burch.

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