A Tribute to the Sisters of Mercy
David Bowie, of all damn people, had this great line in “Young Americans” where he screeched out that there ain’t one damn song that can make him break down and cryyyyy. I’ve been suffering from that same problem lately, in terms of new records — I want to feel SOMETHING. The Sisters of Mercy, incidentally (and I’m not ashamed to admit this), have several such songs that do just that, and let me think I’m maybe even human for a minute. Hey, “1959” happens to be one of those songs! How did Dreadful Shadows do with their interpretation? In a word — (fucking) DREADFUL!! “Dominion/Mother Russia” is another, but Babylon Will Fall’s take lacks the all-or-nothing belting that Eldritch and Morrison bust out for the bigger-than-Phil-Spector chorus, so bleahhh. And Page 12 was soooo close with their version of “Something Fast,” if they would just ease off the Baron Nocturna-isms on the vocals.
Hey, you know what’s kerrr-azy about this record? The sleeve claims that there’s sixteen different bands on this record, but hell if I can tell, sounds like ONE (two at the generous most) to me. Syria even manages to ho-hum-ize the surefire barn-burner-at-the-Goth-hoe-down “Lucretia My Reflection!” Y’know, boys, if you’re given the once in a lifetime chance to cover songs (no, perfect crystal monuments of sound) by one of the twenty best groups EVER, and probably the best of the stillborn Goth genre, chances are you should, maybe, put a bit more blood and other assorted bodily fluids into your performance. Transcend! You can be distant and European and yet still sound like you give a fuck about something other than the underage Goth girls who are hanging around backstage. Like Das Ich, for instance. Credit where credit is due: Soul In Isolation really give “Marian” the full-on torment/drama treatment, in contrast to A Spell Inside’s snoozefest of the same name. I like, I like. But fuck all the rest. Did Brian Eno show up at the studio with strategy cards that instructed everyone to “Play as Tepidly as Possible”? Andrew Eldritch is probably throwing an Axl Rose-sized hissy in his grave right now… Ooops, he’s still alive? What about “The Walrus Is Andrew”…
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