Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Sisters of Mercy

While on tour with a couple bands this Summer it was discovered that a friend of mine (one of the band members) had never really listened to the Sisters of Mercy. Upon this discovery most everyone in the van spent the next hour or so playing their favorite TSOM song and talking about the importance of this band to their own musical history. My friend has since acquired the Sisters' first LP First and Last and Always and loves it but hasn't had a chance to dig any deeper yet. This post is for him.
The Sisters, Siouxie and the Banshees, and Bauhaus were among my gateway or introduction (depending how you categorize those bands) to punk back in the Eighties. The tracks on TSOM's Alice and Reptile House EPs, Siouxie's the Scream, and Bauhaus's In The Flat Field were as vital and urgent to me as anything I was hearing on my local college radio station filed under "punk rock". I was around 9 or 10 years old so any stray from MJ's Man In The Mirror, Rick Astley's Never Gonna Give You Up, and Bobby McFerrin's Don't Worry, Be Happy was desperately welcomed. This was the shit for me.
Since my friend already has the Sisters Of Mercy's first full length I've opted to offer him the ensconcing releases (sorta). Some Girls Wander By Mistake is a collection of early singles (including the Alice and Reptile House EPs) released independently before signing to WEA (Warner) in 1984. Floodland (1987) is the lush and self-indulgent follow up to First and Last and Always. Both rank among my all-time favorites. I haven't included their final (so far) record Vision Thing as I don't feel it really lives up to their earlier records. It's got some excellent tracks (see: Ribbons) but the bar-rock swing of most of the album doesn't do a lot for me.
By the way, the drummer of this band is a revolving series of drum machines and laptops named Doktor Avalanche. In addition to providing the drum tracks for the Sisters since '81 he also briefly ran an advice column.

Some Girls Wander By Mistake

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