Friday, January 28, 2011

FDF Volume 3 Issue 213: Bauhaus - Press the Eject and Give Me The Tape

By: March

Album - Press the Eject and Give Me the Tape
Artist - Bauhaus
Key Players - Kevin Haskins - drums/percussion. Daniel Ash - guitars, alto saxophone. David J - bass, Peter Murphy - lead vocals
Produced By - various

Release Date - 1982

What caused me to blow off the dust? - Honestly I try not to do Forgotten Disc Fridays with live records because in a sense they are a "best of" collection. I've been hearing "Ziggy Stardust" a lot as of late (and the song was never really part of studio record)

Overview -
The disc is a collection of live tracks pulled from London, Liverpool, Manchester and Paris from 1981 and 1982 as well as six tracks pulled from singles as well as an unissued track (Of Lillies and Remains). The album was a bonus to a limited release at the start, but was released on it's own a year later. It would be released again in 1988 with six additional tracks.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) - A slow build up of distortied guitars start of "In the Flat Field" before Haskins rolls across the drums and David J drops the bass line. Ash works the guitars all fuzzy before Murphy comes in. Murphy has a distinct sound to his voice. A little high, and at times stressed but his persona comes right through in his vocals. The band does mesh really well and Haskins rolling drums seem to really be the focus. Murphy indicates he is "tired" as the track "Rose Garden Funeral of Sores" begins. David J has a deep run on bass. Its a real dark sounding track as Haskins hits down on the cymbal and Ash works his guitar in to a buzzing frenzy. Even with the wall of guitar the song keeps a pretty simple tempo. Ash does a quick solo while Haskins and J keep the bottom locked in. As the song heads towards its final minute the vocals have more of a growl to them and there is a brief call and response moment, but the tempo is just locked in and keeping on task. The great tandem of J and Haskins opens up "Dancing" with a frantic drum tempo and bass rumbling. Ash plays saxophone over their intro and continues as Murphy sings the verses. Ash is not just playing a few notes, he is having a field day, just unloading. A famous "goth" band with saxophone? Yep..believe it. Ash then slings his guitar and rips crunchy chords and buzzy riffs as the song seems to end all too soon. "The Man With X-Ray Eyes" has a big bass open, more single punched notes, and Ash phases over the top. Murphy has a particular low howl to his voice on this track. Occasionally breaking character and singing almost in a funny, forced higher method. He then switches over to his deep barotone with ease and will get gruff at the drop of a hat. Haskins and J are high in the mix and keep the track moving along. If the band is well known for any one song it would be "Bela Lugosi is Dead". The 9 plus minute track that starts with Haskins rapping his sticks off the side of the drums, Ash throwing in atmospheric guitar fills and then single, big, booming bass notes from David J. This song just "smells" like Halloween, hench radio stations dust it off once a year to play that night. Murphy doesn't begin to sing until the 2:40 mark and his delivery is in a monotone voice adding to the feel. David J really holds his own, granted the bass line is not complicated but it is such an important part to the track. Ash is left to chop, and slide on his guitar and Haskins never breaks form his snare/rim beat which is a feat unto itself. The guitar from Ash is the lone instrument at the start of "The Spy In The Cab". A more electronic feeling and sounding track with random single tone drops, appearing on the downbeat. Ash is the most prominent member (outside of the vocals) on the bulk of the track, as the drums feel very canned and the bass is not present at all. We are pretty uptempo on "Kick In The Eye" for a goth band. David J once again gets to work out on the bass and Haskins keeps a tight and steady pace. Murphy is a bit more playful with his vocals doing some higher "ooohs". The band seems to lock in to a tight jam and play well off one another. David never seems to break character keeping the strong and steady presence throughout. You'll get where Interpol gets it from when you hear this tune. Haskins rolls across the toms and the hand drums resonate. The saxophone returns on "In Fear of Fear"and Haskins does his best to lay down a torrid drum pace. Once again David J really shines. "Hollow Hills" has a longer slow build with Ash playing a few short notes and David J keeping. This falls back in to the vein of what outsiders would see as goth music. Dark, brooding and somewhat intimidating. This continues on "Stigmata Martyr". David J chugs across the bass before Ash comes in like a buzz saw on guitars. A strong, stand out track. "Dark Entries" closes out the live portion of the album. The the live album is closed perfectly with all the elements that made the prior songs really stand out. Buzzy guitars, driving drums and suprisingly complex bass lines. Also noticed in the song was only the second, or third noticable track with any sort of backing vocals. Murphy shouts "Thank you...good night" and the guitar is left to feedback before the audience roars in appreciation. "Terror Couple Kill Colonel" has a very differnet sound, sounding a little more distant with its overall sound. The audience reaction can be heard more mid song (with cat calls and shouts of elation). It is a little more raw version of the band, which is actually refreshing to hear after the "cleaned up" official live tracks. "Double Dare" is yet another different source. Starting with a spoken word portion (from a film?) again the audience can be heard milling about waiting for the track to being. This is one of those tracks that can alientate casual fans as its slow, odd tempo build up might but some folks off. The bass and drums are driving, and Murphy is particularly dark sounding. Picture a dark room, lots of smoke and strobes..that *might* only be scratching the surface. Another one of the bands more well known tracks is "In The Flat Field" which appears almost seemless, but is rendered from a different single (perhaps the same show split to various singles). Haskins rolls across the drums and David J dives in with him before Ash chops across everything with his guitar. Murphy is pushing it, urgent and sounding angry almost. Again, the audio is a little shoddy. This sounds to me like an audience sourced bootleg recording. Its not bad, but it is noticable at the same time if you really listen. The guitar is a little too lost in the mix and it has a "treble" feel too it throughout. "Hair of the The Dog" is taken from the same single as "Double Dare". "Of Lillies and Remains" is listed as being previously unavailable. I am unsure who sings the first verse but it is no Murphy. Murphy does sing the second verse and chorus though. The source is still not the best, but the song has some potential with the great bass fills. The collection ends with the track "Waiting for the Man". The audience seems anxious as the band slowly gets the track going. Ash has a cleaner guitar sound and it has an almost rockabilly sound to it at the start. The audience appears to clap along, at least for a moment. This is an take on the Velvet Underground track and features Nico on vocals. Not sure what goes wrong because the song is aggressivly faded out as the band seems to be no where near the end.

Where are they now? - The band broke up in 1983. After that Haskins, and Ash formed Tones on Tail who then went to Love and Rockets in which David J joined. Peter Murphy released a few solo albums as well. In 1998 the band reformed and toured. They headed to the studio and recorded "Go Away White" which was released in 2008. On the downside, the band annouced it had disbanded once more before the new album was even released. Murphy had a cameo in the "Twilight Saga" and is rumored to have a solo album out in 2011. Ash has a four song ep currently available on iTunes.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) - I actually did see a "re-formed" version of the band on November 13, 2005 at the Orpheum in Boston. It was all original members and they hammered through a terrifc set of the "hits". Honestly glad I got to see them live.

FDF Overall Take - As any kid that listened to "different" music in junior high and high school could attest they probably went through a phase of being in to this band. Some continued, others listened to it from time to time while smoking butts in motorcycle jackets, probably with the bands logo painted on the jacket somewhere. Honestly, what is good, is really good and it is easy to understand the mark they left. On this particular collection I'd have skipped the bootleg sounding tracks and kept the focus on the slightly more polished versions of the tracks. There are a few collections available from the band now and you'd be okay in my book if you had one of their cds in the collection. This is worth it for Bela Lugosi alone.

Links -
The official Bauhaus site can be found here
Peter Murphy official site here.
David J site here
Daniel Ash official here
Keving Haskins on myspace.

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!

Bela Lugosi's Dead.
In the Flat Field

You can buy the cd here.

Disclaimer - For the most part songs listed you can find on iTunes or your local cd shop. The idea is to give you a little taste of the music. Please support the artist buy purchasing some of their work. Songs are posted for about 1 week but can and will be removed at the request of the artist, band, band management etc. If you are one of those persons contact me via the email link in the profile and they will be removed as soon as we are made aware of the request.


At 10:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice review Harry, but I must state that David J. was never a member of Tones on Tail, it was Glen Campling (ex Bauhuas roadie and bass tech) on bass.

At 8:43 AM, Blogger March to the Sea said...

Thanks for the correction..i've updated.


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