Melody Maker - November 27, 1982
Consider the written word struggles to convey sarcasm.
CARLY SIMON: "Come Upstairs" (WEA).
TRACY PEW: What was that?
THE CHURCH: "Unguarded Moment" (Carerre). NICK CAVE: We're basically proud to be Australian but that's totally embarrassing to us. We're desperately in search of some other groups who can help us - not that we're here to promote Australia or anything - but it would be nice if some other Australian groups came up with something that was interesting. Apart from the fabulous Go-Betweens and the equally fabulous Laughing Clowns, I hate them all. The Church are just helping to promote ill-feeling towards Australia.
ROWLAND HOWARD: This record does have the remarkable honour of being about the worst written song I've ever heard in my life, particularily as the singer, Steve Kilbey or whatever he's called, considers himself to be the best songwriter in Australia. Ha! They're just an offensively smug Tinka Toy group and this is the worst song ever!
TRACY PEW: Australia really loves them and thinks they're gonna pull Australian rock out of its ditch. What a fallacy! This sounds like a high school garage band's composition played by session musicians.
THE DAMNED: "Generals" (Bronze).
TP: The self-appointed original punk rock group have produced another traditional gem, totally worthless and completely piss-weak.
NC: Puerile drivel. They're a bunch of squirts and we'll fight them any day! No, don't put that ...
TP: We'll be in a hell of a pickle if you rain your mouth off.
RH: I think you should put all that in the review.
TP: We'll arm-wrestle them anyway!
LENE LOVICH: "It's You, Only You (Mein Schmerz)" (Stiff).
TP: Thoroughly unoriginal.
RH: That's not entirely true, because this is the sort of thing that she came up with in the first place. It's just that everyone else has ripped her off in the two years she hasn't done anything.
NC: I admit she did come up with this trash in the first place so she's responsible for the trail of slime but, in any case, this is a no-punches-pulled, enthusiastic, vibrant, energetic piece of bullshit.
ANOMY: "TVC15" (Inner Landscapes).
RH: Musically, the equivalent of someone scraping their finger nails on a blackboard.
NC: We hope they have a head-on with a bus.
BANANARAMA: "Cheers Then" (London).
TP: A very amateurish singing group who should get lessons from ... what's her name? That woman who taught the Sex Pistols to sing. Musically it sounds like Visage which is a terrible thing.
RH: Midge has got a lot to answer for hasn't he?
TREVOR HERION: "Kiss Of No Return" (Imperial). /
SCREAMING DEAD: "Schoolgirl Junkie" (Skull).
RH: Trevor Herion doesn't live up to his name!
TP: But this Glaswegian punk rock group with very strange haircuts make a very astute social observation.
NC: They're very scarey anyway!
VIETNAMESE ROSE: "The Young And The Free" (Luna).
NC: Single of the week, Nine out of ten. A delightful and beautiful song. The guitar riff refers back to certain country things I like. . .
RH: It's also the only vaguely positive record in the bunch, all the rest of them are just so incredibly morose.
NC: Yes, it seems to be reasonably unpretentious where the halitosis of British rock, which accounts for the majority of what we've heard today, is the fact that it totally lacks three things that make a great record: a) a sense of humour b) a sense of irreverence towards music and c) that the performers have, if not their brains, then at least their hearts in their records. This song seems to have all those things.
TP: We threw our panties and hotel keys at the record player!
PANTHER BURNS: "I'm On This Rocket" (Rough Trade).
RH: Groups like this really don't live up to their reputation for being vaguely exciting and supposedly wild. For Christ's sake, it's so predictable; it just has a bit of feedback at the start then it's a real let down. Alex Chilton isn't on this which would probably account for it. Alex Chilton is one of the very best people alive.
KID CREOLE AND THE COCONUTS: "Dear Addy" (Island).
TP: A repulsively packaged Christmas cash in. If you ever get to see Kid Creole perform they're so rancidly stinking dull ...
RH: The most repulsive thing about it is that it's supposed to be clever hip trash and it's really just bad trash. It offends me that they impress other people.
NC: I, personally, have never thought they've done anything worthwhile. They're a shitty group. Kill Coati Mundi.
THE BEAT: "I Confess" (GoFeet).
RH: It sounds like they've tried to be adult which is a shame.
NC: What single are we up to now? The 24th or so? I mean we have a reputation for our negativism but It just seems to me that we're being forced to be negative about every single we hear. How can we help it when we have 24 pieces of total shit placed in front of us? How do you come up with anything positive? This record's just rubbish. I wouldn't buy it in a fit. No, I mean, go out and buy all these singles, kids, and then listen to them and see if you don't agree with me and my backing group!
BONEY M: "Going Back West" (Atlantic).
RH: Not nearly as good as "Rasputin" or "Ma Baker". It's one of their horrible acoustic hymns.
SIOUXSIE & THE BANSHEES: "Melt" (Polydor).
NC: I'd like to point out that whover did the cover . . . Gil Thompson . . . has plagiarised one of Gustav Klimt's better paintings. On the cover of "Slow Dive" he's rather clumsily stuck Siouxsie's head on top of the torso and . . .
TP: Replaced the innocent face with Siouxsie's eerie monster head.
NC: Look in your Gombrich, you'll see the picture intact. The "Melt" cover is a similar liberation. I admire her taste because I quite like the painter myself although this version's rather cheap, supermarket Art Nouveau, chocolate box ... I'm particularly upset about the "Slow Dive" cover because, when I hadn't developed properly, I did a painting of this for my matriculation. I mean, I admit to plagiarising the same painting but I put my own scarey monster head on it. I'd just like to say, I did it much better than Gil Thompson - in fact, it got me an "A". This is not to say I have anything against Siouxsie because I think she's probably quite a nice person.
RH: I just wish she's stop reading Stephen King books.
MM: What about the record?
NC: What about it? I think that was a really good review!
CRIMINAL CLASS: "Fighting System" (Hell).
NC: We lost as many brain cells listening to it as they possess collectively.
ROCK GODDESS: "Satisfied Then Crucified" (A&M) (B-Side).
TP: Possibly the only British new wave heavy metal group worth listening to. This is the first piece of good ballsy rock from the movement for a long time. It's funny and it's actually loud
NC: Jesus Christ! I know what it's like! They're obviously talking about sexual encounters and, personally, I understand that title. "Satisfied Then Crucified" - I understand these girls!
RH: You can relate to girls with pimples on their wrists.
DR. HOOK: "Rings" (Mercury).
RH: Interesting how all Dr. Hook records are about fucking basically.
TP: Yeah, they seem to have hit upon a formula of soft porn, middle of the road music for promiscuous adults.
NC: We would like to say right now, that we're totally in favour, total advocates of this new movement in American soft porn music. We're totally interested in providing healthy sexual attitudes basically - in particular amongst the young because they've definitely gone off the rails!
THE CURE: "Let's Go To Bed" (Fiction).
RH: It's just the vocal track off any Cure song over a dance beat. Robert Smith only writes one song these days anyway. It's sadder than I would have imagined. This is starting to depress me now.
NC: I can't believe this record. Perhaps we're getting old or something but I just can't cope, I just can't relate to it at all. I think I'd better hang up my larynx. I don't know why groups do this sort of thing. Maybe, after five years of being in a band, one gets a bit sick of living in bedsits and so forth.
TP: It's called crossing over.
NC: Personally, it doesn't surprise me that every record here happens to be really bad, apart from the two we've pointed out. Really, for the last two years, the only British group that I've thought are really worth anything are The Fall because they seem to have a kind of mystery about their music, a sense of humour and a healthy attitude. They obviously care so much about their music that it doesn't occur to them to release anything that isn't true to themselves. They just seem to have so much charm and personality whereas everything else seems to be made by people who haven't got much personality of their own or are so deeply rooted in British new wave traditions that they can't escape.
This pile of bullshit doesn't upset me. In fact, I'm elevated by this session; it only makes me feel more comfortable in knowing what The Birthday Party is doing is right.
RH: I haven't bought a record for two years, and I have no intention of buying a record ever again at this rate.