(Select February '95)

"The Rapture"
**** (four stars)
by Matt Hall

Hide your hairspray! They're back, and this time they mean it! Operating from a parallel universe where Daisy Chainsaw were merely a bad dream, the Banshees return to reclaim their rightful position as purveyors of scary pop par excellence. Only The Cure can hold a candle to Ms. Sioux when it comes to trotting out jolly tunes about mental breakdown, love bordering on obsession and severely dislocated relationships. Or something.

And it's that 'something' that makes "The Rapture" such a fine little Russian doll of a record. Under the keyboard lines, swelling strings, and OTT percussion, at the center of every song is a nugget of disquiet that keeps you listening again and again. Sure, they're about as out of step with current Brit pop as you can get without falling flat on your arse, but let's face it, they probably couldn't give a toss anyway.

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