May 20, 2009

Cure. Pornography Tour 1982.


With taut, claustrophobic, skeleton-dry tracks like these, The Cure laid down the template for countless doom-’n-dance bands to follow, though nobody’s equaled the harsh, majestic gloom they conjure here.

The Pornography album reeks of illness, as if the whole band was suffering from hallucinatory fevers during the recording sessions. The drums beat out a martial rhythm, propelling and grounding the songs, but also sounding accusatory, as if they had their own secret agenda. Guitars stutter and stab, and lead singer, Robert Smith, wails from a black hole of depression.

Figurehead’s opening line, “It doesn’t matter if we all die”, sets the tone, and it doesn’t get any cheerier. It’s one of those albums that “gets you through high school” (or whatever difficult period you’re in), by generally being more dark, isolated and vicious than you could ever hope to be.

The Cure barely survived recording Pornography. In fact, I can’t think of an album that sounds more like the band making it hated every instant of it. And yet, from that, they pulled off a masterpiece. There’s a steely determination in the way they crafted an album as ugly and frightening as they felt at the time. It’s all the more menacing for the way you can feel them holding themselves back, doing a sinister ballet on the line between abandon and despair, and outright nihilism. It helps, of course, that they know how to write killer songs. Underneath all the gloom, it’s obvious that every wail, scrape and clang is as well thought out and placed as the handclaps and violins of any “normal” perfect-pop track.

Live, it takes on an even more oppressive quality. So, enjoy. This kind of hurt is timeless.

Cure Pornography Tour

Official Cure site

Cure on myspace

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