Monday, January 2, 2012

The Sisters of Mercy: Floodland

This was the first Sisters of Mercy album I ever got.  It was 1991 & I’d just started getting into goth music & they had this for $9.99 at Phar-Mor.  I’d mainly been into the more shoegaze & almost metal end of goth & The Sisters were my first experience in the dance & fashion aspect that really would define the genre.  As I went on tours over the next decade I saw & heard a hundred bands inspired by this album & heard the singles at the clubs all the time & the idea of actually listening to this album on my own just didn’t occur to me anymore.
The re-listen was odd.  It kicks in with “Dominion/Mother Russia” which seems like a pretty great song, but it is really melodramatic & long.  When the sax kicks in, the image of that walrus playing a saxophone comes to mind.

To me the songs that are successful are the dance singles.  “Lucretia My Reflection” has a bassline that I end up playing half the time I pick up the bass & “This Corrosion” which clocks in at almost eleven minutes somehow almost works even at that length (though the idea of a pop song being extended to that length is a little off to me) with it’s highly dated & bizarre choir backing vocals.  Strangely the song “Colours” which I probably hated as a kid (“why does this just have four lines over & over for seven minutes?”) is a new favorite for me & the one song on here that I could really see myself doing a version of (though I probably wouldn’t have the guts to make it more than two minutes long).  In the end as a whole this album mainly works for me as nostalgia & the dance music works as dance music, but I don’t understand why this was the album for a whole genre to be built around & I think if I listened to their whole catalog I would see The Sisters as a singles band instead of an album band.  Though I guess I don’t understand the idea of derivative music as a goal.


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