If I Die, I Die is Virgin Prunes' proper début album. Produced by Wire's Colin Newman, the album's 14 tracks are the epitome of post-punk adventurism. Here, tribal drums and edgy, spooky, detuned guitars and bouzoukis cross paths and meld with synthesizers and primitive drum machines in an onslaught of off-kilter creativity where everyone from the Fall, PiL, New Order, Siouxsie And the Banshees, and even Bruce Springsteen are called in for reference in a brew that is dangerous, primal, and excessive. Two androgynous frontmen in the foppish Gavin Friday and alluring Guggi create alternate ambiances from warped yet sweet Irish balladry to shrieked poetry. And while the set is messy to be sure, it is far from off-putting. In fact, it is easily the band's most consistent and enduring effort. The albums opens with the haunting, nocturnal minimalism of "Ulankulot," an intro with tom toms and drifting keyboards layered carefully in the background, wordless chanted backing vocals and an electric bouzouki courtesy of guitarist Dik. It immediately gives way to its antecedent "Decline Sand Fall." It's the same tune, only Friday is out in front of it digging deep into the temporality of childhood and what remains of it. Its effect is startling, nocturnal, and tense. In "Sweethome Under White Clouds," the theme is given dimension as Guggi and Friday wail like muzzeins over a reverbed guitar coming from the netherworld and augmented by a soprano saxophone and a synth bassline.
If I Die, I Die ripped from the 2004 remastered and expanded CD to MP3 @ 320kbps