Themes From Great Cities

It might have come to your attention that I'm not a regular poster of love and understanding, which you will just have to get used to. I will however, have bursts of creativity where I move completely randomly from post to post with no rhyme or reason. I have recently posted a few singles (7 & 12”) and the odd bootleg which have been received very well by all who visit. More of the same will continue as you, dear readers, seem to be enjoying them.

Some of the rips are my own, but many more are from other blogs and I’m just sharing the wealth. If other bloggers out there wish to share the rips from my posts, please as I do, host them yourself. To combat this, the FLAC files that are over 6 months old will be replaced with MP3 files.

Finally I am happy to re-up old posts where the link has expired. Please comment in the relevant posts comments box.



Interspersed With Intervals Of Slow & Desolate Introspection

If bands like Siouxsie and the Banshees and Bauhaus can be considered the founders of post-punk glam, laying the foundations of what would turn into goth rock, then Gene Loves Jezebel followed closely in their footsteps with their debut, Promise. Careening, wailing guitar is matched by careening, wailing vocals from the two Aston brothers (Jay and Michael), while forceful, semi-tribal drumming underlay everything on display. John Brand's production balances out brute force with careful texturing, allowing the group to showcase their power chops as well as their calmer, moodier side. Despite the unstable line-up at the time of recording, everything sounds like the product of a well-seasoned band, no doubt thanks to the Astons' considerable and happily justifiable belief in their own abilities.
One of the more common but effective elements on Promise is a sense of quick, dramatic changes. Strong examples include the moody intro into explosive guitar roar on "Upstairs," the building roll of verses into a wordless yell on "Screaming for Emmalene/Scheming," and the sudden drop out of the music towards the end of "Psychological Problems." The Astons' near-interchangeable vocals conjure up images of desolation, highly suspect sex, freakish family scenarios, and insanity; theirs are not the most happy-go-lucky of lyrics, but they deliver them with an invigorating, about-to-crack energy. Songs often crackle with a nervous, giddy fear, while the music at its more restrained feels like an ominous call to doom. "Influenza," a deceptively calm instrumental, relies on wordless vocals from the band to increase the creeping sense of unease. Perhaps the strongest song is the most minimal: "Bread From Heaven," an allegoric, vicious slam on the English government for its treatment of Wales.
 The Astons' keening vocals sound like burnt calls of vengeance from beyond the grave -- an unsettling, effective demonstration of their musical skills. Later pressings of the album include the fairly poppy later single "Bruises," which also surfaces on Immigrant.

Taken from the 2005 Expanded 2 disc reissue to MP3 @ 320kbps

Track List

1. Upstairs
2. Bruises
3. Pop Tarantula
4. Screaming For Emmalene
5. Scheming
6. Bread From Heaven
7. Influenza
8. Shower Me With Brutal Punches
9. Wraps and Arms - (previously unreleased)
10. Psychological Problems

1. Shame - (previously unreleased, original version)
2. Influenza (Relapse)
3. Stephen - (original version)
4. Walk in the Park - (previously unreleased)
5. Wraps and Arms - (version 2)
6. Bruises - (previously unreleased, extended version)
7. Punch Drunk
8. Brando (Bruises) - (previously unreleased, extended version)
9. Scheming - (previously unreleased, original version)
10. Screaming (For Emalene) - (previously unreleased, single version)
11. So Young (Hard Heave, Heave Ho)
12. Voodoo Dollies
13. Shaving My Neck - (previously unreleased)
14. Sun and Insanity - (previously unreleased)
15. Machismo - (previously unreleased)
16. Glad to Be Alive - (previously unreleased)


  1. Awesome pick...

  2. Very well orchestrated. Been looking to compliment my vinyl for awhile with this one.

  3. Excellent album, their best, imho. Worth it for "Punch Drunk" alone! Thanks again - John

  4. Many thanks for your thoughts and comments. Excellent album indeed, but maybe not their best for this blogger...that's still to come