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Bauhaus- Go Away White LP Review (7.5/10),
This review is from: Go Away White (Audio CD)
As excited as I was for the Bauhaus reunion tour over the last couple of years, I don't think I could say the same for a new Bauhaus studio album. Perhaps the band's dedicated following of absinthe drinking, Dracula worshiping goth misfits were pretty blown away by the prospects, but anyone who doesn't proclaim Edgar Allen Poe as their favorite author probably shares the same opinion as I do; that goth-rock is mostly dead.
There are times on Go Away White when it seems like even Bauhaus, the godfathers of Goth, thinks this. Admittedly, the jagged post punk anti-chords, tense atmospherics and oddball bouncy bass abound in tracks like "Undone" and "Endless Summer of The Damned" fits in satisfyingly with their 80's work. But on tracks like "Too Much 21'st Century" and "International Bullet Proof Talent", Bauhaus retreat to more straight-forward, pop-ladden, Glam-Rock influences, matching T. Rex style guitar chugging with vocals that eerily resemble latter-day Bowie or Nick Cave.
Now there's no denying that the hooks on these tracks are inescapable. But similar tracks like "Adrenalin" and "Black Stone Heart" don't fare even half as memorably, and one gets the feeling that it would've been smarter to do away with this tired rock-posturing completely, in order to craft a more focused and effective blast of nostalgia. Especially when the more traditionally goth tracks of Go Away White are done so well. The latter track in particular, has the trouble of having to follow the wonderful slow-burn that is "Mirror Remains", which moves from it's initial groove into a blend of snake rattles, hand claps, free jazz piano fiddling and ear piercing noise.
So maybe Goth-Rock still has a fighting chance in this decade, but that doesn't change the fact that even one of it's founding fathers won't put complete confidence into it's power. Closing songs, "Zikir" and "The Dog's A Vapour" are atmospheric, spooky winks to the goth sub-culture, both of which actually succeed at using moans, groans and reverb to be genuinely unsettling and...well...scary. But unlike Dinosaur Jr, with their excellent reunion album last year, Bauhaus just can't seem to put full faith into the style that's so obviously their greatest strength. Go Away White is a good album. But it could've been great. And as a final chapter in the Bauhaus legacy, it's a little too compromised to be anything other than a bit of a disappointment. (Aron Fischer)
For fans of: Nick Cave, David Bowie, Joy Division, T. Rex, Public Image Ltd, The Cure