|©1982 Beggar's Banquet
1. Third Uncle
2. Silent Hedges
3. In The Night
4. Swing The Heartache
6. The Three Shadows, Part One
7. The Three Shadows, Part Two
8. The Three Shadows, Part Three
9. All We Ever Wanted Was Everything
10. Exquisite Corpse
11. Ziggy Stardust
12. Party Of The First Part
Barring androgynous bisexuals and east-european absinthe, goths swear that Bauhaus is the purest way to real happiness. Peter Murphy's moribund chants attest to that, too: full of that cold lifelessness and deadened pulse you'd expect the subculture to idolise. But their music reaches far beyond "goth". At least that's what my silly neighbour says. He wears a pewter crucifix and fishnet.
With all the prettiness of barb wire, Murphy exorcises his personal demons and lets you hear him do it. Always on the brink of self-parody, the serious man possesses too much intelligence and sincerity to invite anything other than uncertain laughter and a creepy awe from the crowd. Ash's guitar is relentlessly disturbing and unpredictable - he adds bits of piercing clangor to the gentlest of backdrops carefully painted by the rest of the band. The bass and the drumming are spooky and "tribal" like in the manner of a festive warlock convent - all drear and bleakness inclusive. Borrowing from the ideals of German expressionism - quite explicitly referred to lyrically and in artwork - The Sky's Gone Out is really very successful in creating what it wants to. What it wants to create is understood on the quickest first listen. Aura of the sound waves oozes drama and showmanship.
"Third Uncle" is a punk-goth Brian Eno cover, complete with lightning fast vocals and incomprehensible lyrics. What spirit! "Silent Hedges", "Swing the Heartache" and "All We ever wanted..." are all generally frightening and dramatic and fabulous, though usually it's rather hard to tell where one song ends and another begins. "Spirit" is the smooth melody where they scream "We love our audience!" about four million times. I'm still not sure whether the band considers its audience to be thinking, sensitive renaissance (wo)men or apathetic, mindless dung. "Ziggy Stardust" is in there somewhere. Yes, that boring David Bowie cover that puts me right to sleep. "Ziggy played guitar...Spiders from Mars...zzzzzzz"
Listening to this album usually gets me irate and uncomfortable; it's like an itch in the throat of my musical taste. I can't quite justify my liking it, but there's a definite allure and behemoth charisma to what they've created here. Quite remarkable. Bauhaus' best, in my opinion.
Review by Rahul Joshi
Review date: 02/2002