After every peak comes a decline and pretty much every genre is sometimes followed by a ‘post’ version of itself. From JAMES BLAKE‘s delicate interpretation of post-dubstep to the epic musical landscapes bands from the post-rock scene created. When the first wave of energetic punk rock died away in the late 70s, the rise of post-punk was not only a logical consequence but also an inevitable reaction to the state of the youth back then. Born out of the miserable working-class quarters and suburbs of British cities a youth filled with desperate anger stood up and carried the frantic energy of punk into darker territories.
Without any doubt, it was a special time back then in the clubs of Europe when bands like JOY DIVISION, THE CURE or SIOUXSIE AND THE BANSHEES showed up, delivering and angry and pumping sound that was also mixed with a certain undeniable darkness and desperation. Mechanic beats, influenced by the first signs of techno like KRAFTWERK, teamed up with sinister vocals that mixed the cool spirit of Lou Reed with a sort-of anti-glam version of BOWIE. These songs meant the world to these kids; the shows of all these up and coming artists were lessons in ecstatic escapism from the grey world surrounding them.
One can’t help but getting a bit nostalgic when looking back on these days of true subculture. Far too often today’s so-called ‘indie’-clubs are corrupted by adapted and shallow pop songs. ‘Hang the DJ, cause the music that they constantly play; it says nothing to me about my life’ claimed MORRISSEY back then. Even almost thirty years later this sentence remains important. NOTHING BUT HOPE AND PASSION is trying to bring a bit of that spirit back into the here and now as we compiled fifteen almost forgotten tunes from this short-lasting musical era.
Bauhaus – ‘In The Flat Field’
Last October charismatic BAUHAUS singer Peter Murphy has been sentenced to 3 years of probation for a hit-and-run incident earlier that year. Kind of a low-point for one of the godfathers of goth music but the perfect occasion to remind ourselves of his former greatness.
The Sound – ‘Missiles’
Speaking of low-points. Singer Adrian Borland committed suicide back in 1999 after suffering from depression for over a decade. His various musical projects never brought him commercial success with THE SOUND being his first band.
The Flying Lizards – ‘Hands 2 Take’
Nobody really knows how many members exactly THE FLYING LIZARDS had. Wikipedia lists at least thirteen members in the short-lasting career of the experimental rock band. Hands 2 Take takes the concept of post-punk into a quite arty direction.
Suicide – ‘Ghostrider’
This 1977 evergreen by SUICIDE is one of TRENTEMØLLER‘s favourite tunes and we totally dig why. Over ten years before the actual breakthrough of techno this song builds up a pumping intensity with a spooky sound that instantly soaks underneath your skin.
Orange Juice – ‘Falling and Laughing’
Some of you might know EDWYN COLLINS (especially from his 90s radio-hit A Girl Like You) but did you also know his former band? Falling and Laughing by ORANGE JUICE marks also a good example on when the post-punk-thing opened itself up to pop and opened the door for bands like THE SMITHS or even DURAN DURAN.
Chrome – ‘Abstract Nympho’
A spooky and noisy intro full of electronic experiments was always a good choice to open such a track. The rest of Abstract Nympho is furious and angry madness. Can you already feel the sweat dripping down the roof? We’re up for it.
The Glove – ‘Like An Animal’
Did somebody say ‘post-punk supergroup?’ Steven Severin of SIOUXSIE AND THE BANSHEES and THE CURE‘s Robert Smith really joined forces back in 1983 and released one album as THE GLOVE. Obviously it wasn’t a big success and the gentlemen returned to their ‘day jobs.’
Associates – ‘The Affectionate Punch’
One of Scotland’s answers to England’s post-punk hype was this band around charismatic lead singer Billy Mackenzie. They ended up heaving one Top 10 album and two Top 20 singles in the UK. Fun fact: The Affectionate Punch features backing vocals by Robert Smith.
Destroy All Monsters – ‘Bored’
America also had a lot of up and coming post-punk artists back then. Detroit-based DESTROY ALL MONSTERS are a fine example. Their 1978 debut single Bored lives through the distinctive vocal work of lead singer Niagara, who is still a famous artist in the area.
The Boys Next Door – ‘Shivers’
A slow-grooving beat, a sinister voice and a lot of pathos. Australia’s THE BOYS NEXT DOOR might have only last one album (before they turned into BIRTHDAY PARTY) but this one truly is a highlight. Oh, and if you think that voice is familiar. Yes, it’s indeed the one and only NICK CAVE.
Ritual – ‘Mind Disease’
This one really crosses the thin line between punk and goth as it delivers dark madness, driven by tribal-like drums and a deep pumping bass. Singer Errol Blyth fights the demons as he screams since he’s obviously losing. The band released one album, Songs For A Dead King, in 1981 before they vanished into the darkness.
Death In June – ‘Holy Water’
Released 1982 as a B-side, Holy Water finds the often controversial received DEATH IN JUNE still in post-punk mode, before they shifted style to neo-folkish territory. The band pursues a deeply poetical and political approach, often resulting in disturbing imagery and symbolism.
Sad Lovers & Giants – Imagination
Imagination was on the first record released by this epic post-punk group from Watford, England. Its haunting texture reminds of THE CURE riding a psychedelic carpet. John Peel really liked it.
The Teardrop Explodes – ‘Treason’
Here’s the new-wave cut THE RIFLES stole everything they ever offered us from. Before forming THE TEARDROP EXPLODES, leadsinger Julian Cope played in CRUCIAL TREE with Ian McCulloch, who, after leaving the band, formed ECHO AND THE BUNNYMEN.