Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Vinyl Vednesday 10/26/2011

[Vinyl Vednesday is a weekly feature about three favorite vinyl finds. It’s not meant to be a dick-measuring contest, but it usually turns out that way. This week’s edition is an early Halloween celebration. Hail Satan, and such. E-mail with your own big finds!]

AFI’s Answer That and Stay Fashionable (1995) on turquoise marble, The Cure’s Faith (1981) on black, and Siouxsie and The Banshees The Scream (1978) on black.

Place of Purchase:
AFI was bought at Repo Records in Philadelphia, Pa. The Cure came from Hideaway Music in Chestnut Hill, Pa. Siouxsie and The Banshees was obtained via eBay.

Thoughts: My favorite AFI records are Black Sails in the Sunset and Decemberunderground. One of them is just an awesome hardcore record with gothic lyrics; the other is a goth-pop record bordering on a dance album. They don’t have much in common, which is why I feel little need to justify fitting my other favorite AFI record, Answer That and Stay Fashionable, into the equation. Answer That has some psychobilly elements and captures the band at a really young age. Also, the lyrics are supremely goofy, as heard in “Brownie Bottom Sundae” and “Cereal Wars,” in which frontman Davey Havoc goes off on cereal brands. It’s all intentionally hilarious, while still getting in plenty of Misfits-y love. Plus, the vinyl version comes with the bonus tracks “Self-pity” and “Key Lime Pie.”

Early AFI is goth but silly. The Cure, now there’s a band for soundtracking my eternal despair. Faith is one of the band’s darker records. Opener “The Holy Hour” is a slow churner that sucks up all joy. The record owes a big debt to Joy Division – it captures The Cure’s transition from punk upstarts to psych/goth/pop explorers and falls somewhere on the post-punk lines – but I honestly prefer it over anything JD ever did. “Primary” is a bouncy tune indeed, while “The Funeral Party” predicts the wall of atmosphere that would create the band’s best album, Disintegration. There are better Cure records, but Faith is an album I’ve come to really respect over the years. It doesn’t have any of the band’s big hits, but it’s such a great, swirling mix.

I came to Siouxsie and The Banshees a little later in life. It wasn’t until I had digested The Cure’s complete discography that I then gravitated towards Robert Smith’s mid-’80s side project, The Glove. Knowing that Smith did time with The Banshees (He plays on Hyaena and toured quite a bit with the group), I started snatching up Banshee records at a rapid pace. They’re one of those bands that makes a lot of contemporary music sound redundant. The Scream, the band’s thrilling debut, exists somewhere between punk’s rawness and post-punk's jitteriness, exuding a kind of passion and depth that would develop into goth. It’s not quite as psychedelic as what the group would cultivate on later albums, but The Scream is a thrilling listen from start to finish.


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