I’m not sure when it started. Probably in my early teens. Friends with older brothers were into this label called 4AD. There were bands like Bauhaus, Xmal Deutschland, Cocteau Twins, Dead Can Dance, Rema-Rema, This Mortal Coil, and, of course, The Birthday Party.
The Birthday Party were special. Unlike ever other band that ever released anything, each record that they put out became increasingly aggressive, increasingly fucked up, increasingly destructive. The eponymous album might have been wild, but it was nothing compared to Prayers on Fire, which in turn paled in comparison to Drunk on the Popes Blood, which in turned shivered in the shadow of the masterpiece, Junkyard.
All of this was, of course, a heroin induced, alcohol fuelled, speed enhanced nightmare that tore individuals apart… claiming early victims, sacrificed on the altar of post-punk. This doesn’t, didn’t, and shouldn’t, mean a jot to the teenage soul – life is to lived. Consequences are to be paid. To the winners go the prize. And the prize is more of the same.
Here we are, 20 odd years later, and the winners are starting to pay the price.
Goodnight Rowland. As you already noted, when the lighting was right you were the man with most.