The first 8 songs on "Love Your Enemies" were originally released in '84 as "We Hate You South African Bastards," a compilation of singles, b-sides, and out-takes that preceded their stunning debut "Everybody's Fantastic." The songs fit together remarkably well for a compilation, forming a cohesive album's worth of material that could easily have been their debut. For this CD, the "In the World" 12" EP (released after "Everybody's Fantastic") was tacked to the end, finally collecting these hopelessly rare tracks on digital format. "LYE" is an absolutely mind-blowing collection, essential for anyone with an interest in Microdisney or 80s melodic pop.
Apart from displaying uncommonly well-crafted, melodically sophisticated pop songs, this collection clearly demonstrates the paradoxical power that set this Irish duo apart from their contemporaries. Next to their smooth, soulful, mature pop tunes (characterized by guitarist Sean O'Hagan's ultra-melodic, country-ish finger-picking style played over singer Cathal Coughlan's rich, Brian Wilson inspired organ) lies Cathal's bilous rage and caustic wit, sung gut-wrenchingly in his thick, Irish brogue. The listener is forced to reconcile these two seemingly opposite extremes, which Microdisney effectively fused to create their own unique, poetic vision.
Songs like "Helicopter of the Holy Ghost" and "Pink Skinned Man" are achingly beautiful and richly complex, while scathing in their lyrical commentary of life in the 80s. "Michael Murphy" and "Patrick Moore Says You Can't Sleep Here" are smooth instrumentals with a strong Brian Wilson/late-60s Beach Boys influence. The moods alternate between dark and light throughout.
The three first-rate "In the World" songs at the end benefit from a human drummer and much fuller sound, while continuing Microdisney's unique blend of beauty and rage. "464" pushes these extremes to the max, beginning with a minute-long intro of loud, buzzing, distorted guitars, pounding drums, and Cathal shouting his head off with lines like, "Come home with me and see my etchings/come home with me and nothing will happen/I'll lie on my bed with sweat on my brow and dream of someone else". Things then transition abruptly into a sweet, clean, lilting mid-tempo pop tune that could make Johnny Marr jealous. The other two songs, while less jarring, offer highly engaging, hook-filled, deeply impassioned, sophisticated pop.