The Michigan Daily-Friday, July 14,1989-Page 9
Love & Rockets
Hell hath frozen over! Pigs in space! Dogs and cats living together! Love
& Rockets and the Cult can be heard on WIQB!
These LP's are each group's fourth (yet only the third released in the
States); yet both discs further reveal the exact nature of their makers.
Sonic Temple finally places the Cult firmly in the arena-metal domain
they copped riffs from on 1987's Electric. Out are the sloooow, borrrring
sychedelic/dance/goth jellies of Dreamtime and to some extent Love; in
are the incredible AC/DC-Zep-Motor City jams the Cult recycle so slickly.
I mean, who would you rather play in front of: happy, partying
American metalheads or pale, depressed and/or mourning culture snobs who
added up the word 'suicide', import records, and the color black to decide you
were good? Besides, that latter crowd demands intelligent-seeming lyrics,
and Ian Astbury clearly treats words and images sort of like power chords - Although Bauhaus alumni Love and Rockets (above)- as well as The Cult - still wear lots of sensible black,
throw a bunch together until they sound good and leave some room to solo both have traded in their better-known existentialist/hippie qualities for some crunching guitar power.
(the word "Baby" comes to mind). Astbury is just as tasteful as lead
guitarist Billy Duffy when it comes to recycling; Blade Runner fans should
.lig the "ships bum off the coast of Orion" line in "Soldier Blue."
Actually, it has been quite clear since 1985's Love that the Cult would
end up in the Sonic Temple. Sure, they steal their riffs (though they avoid
the blatant theft of "Love Removal Machine" and "The Phoenix" this time), S UMR gS
but do you think Zeppelin or the Stones invented theirs? As in all of the
greatest rock, worship is best done at extreme volume.
Love & Rockets have had to deal with the legions of doom for far longer
than the Cult; after all, their previous incarnation as Bauhaus inspired the
gloomies to begin with, and ever since then they have fought to be recog-
nized solely as Love & Rockets, a point underscored by the new LP's title.
The band has insisted on recording only for themselves, and this album
Wroves it with a batch of just plain different Love & Rockets songs such as
A- and B-side leadoffs "**** (Jungle Law)" and "Bound for Hell" (and
studio experiments like "The Purest Blue," which should have remained a b-
side). Surprising new sounds appear as well - i.e., a real harmonica.
Fortunately for their commercial future, the band released "So Alive" as
the first single - the kind of achingly beautiful pop song they have been
able to compose since the first album's "Haunted When the Minutes Drag."
But don't worry: VH-1 viewers will surely be left in the dust of what looks
to be their next American single, the surging guitar-cruncher "Motorcycle."
Love & Rockets gently prods the listener in another new way: with the
4yrics. Previously when the band deviated from straightforward pop, they
mainly wrote either interesting observations like "Mirror People" and
"American Dream" or bewildering but coolly poetic philosophy/babble equal
to Astbury's, demonstrated on "Kundalini Express" and the second side of
Earth-Sun-Moon. But two cuts here definitely challenge someone. You can
decide whether the acerbic "**** (Jungle Law)" is aimed at a certain ex-
bandmate or one of England's innumerable poison-pen critics.
And let's hope they don't mean the closing cut "No Words No More"
literally. Although Love and Rockets' instrumental composition prowess is
demonstrated on their 12-inch singles - "Motorcycle" is no exception, G
containing twenty minutes of prime beats sans lyrics on the flip side - I Good Tim es. G reat Pay. errific eopl .
' ould definitely miss their sublime vocals.
- Brian Jarvinen
continued from page 8
sacrifice their own lives to save
those of innocent people caught at
the scene of their bombings is coun-
*terposed to a military that wantonly
tortures and kills people "for the fun
Hence it is appropriate that El
Infierno closes with one last tour
- a tour of both some of the com-
mitted young Uruguayan "men and
women who had a passion for life
and were sacrificed to the Order of
the Barracks" as well as of a fright-
*ened Uruguayan people too terrified
or too inured to the violence around
them to raise their voices aeainst it.
The question Martinez Moreno
asks himself at the novel's close is:
what is left in such an Uruguay for
him to return to? Are his stories of
the dark past merely "anecdotal,"
attached to a land with which he no
longer has a connection? "Where,"
he asks himself and his many fellow
Uruguayan exiles, "is your country?"
Martinez-Moreno died in 1986 with
those questions unresolved; given
the military's ongoing terrorization
of the country's population, seen
before April's amnesty referendum
absolving them of all crimes, he
may not have chosen to return. But
his novel, with its passion for
remembering what the military
would rather forget, holds forth the
hope that Uruguay may one day con-
front its debilitating legacy so that it
might truly escape the shames of a
past it still refuses to acknowledge.
- Mike Fischer
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