Sunday, December 1, 2013

March Violets- Made Glorious

I never really got into the "Goth" mindset. I liked a fair number of bands who got called "Goth"- Mostly Joy Division, Bauhaus, and Killing Joke- but also the Sisters of Mercy ( more precisely Andrew Eldritch.) and Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, and, the band currently being discussed- the March Violets. I'll be dead honest, here, and say that I liked them for 3 reasons- "Walk into the Sun", the guitars sounded a bit like Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, and ( this is key) how Cleo looked in those pleather pants. Seriously, she was smokin'.
That's not enough to garner interest now, though- and apart for my 12 inch single of Walk into the Sun, I had no need for the March Violets. So, I wasn't part of the pledge to create a new LP. I just found a copy of it at my local used emporium, and listened to it this week. Not bad, not bad at all.
The kind of "goth" they play owes a pretty big debt to 1960's music. As Andrew Eldritch put it " We come from 1969" and that seems to fit the whole Leeds scene- Whether you're talking about The Sisters of Mercy, Red Lorry Yellow Lorry or, yes, the March Violets- the guitar, the beats, and the general attitude are a slightly darker version of Byrds meet Stones late 1960's garage rock. So, within that pretty narrow spectrum, March Violets seem to go with the most dance-able variations. They also are more based on other post-punk than the Sisters, but less so than the Lorries. Where the Sisters went from Rickenbacker rock to Stooges, to Meat Loaf, and the Lorries went from Wire to Magazine to UK Decay to Killing Joke, all with a heavy Joy Division beat- March Violets seem to occupy a Byrds to Magazine axis. I prefer to think of it as post-punk that mixes psychedelic folk with dour robo-punk like early Joy Division, and late period Chumbawamba .
The good news is that the songs are catchy, and the guitars are mind-melting enough. The bad news is there's no Cleo for the visuals, but their bass player does seem to rock the pleather, and I'm good with that.  Looks like the main dude- Si, I think, has put on a lot of weight, and lost a fair amount of hair, but still is that kind of British eccentric I have a lot of sympathy for- the kind of guy who apparently wishes he could be in a Dickens book.  He ends up reminding me of Nicol Williamson in Boorman's Excaliber. That's a good thing.
So a pleasant bit of psychedelic postpunk....

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