Older dudes like me remember Bauhaus appeared during the opening sequences of the horror movie “The Hunger” featuring David Bowie and Catherine Deneuve, performing one of their most popular songs, “Bela Lugosi’s Dead”. It was almost a lifetime ago, back in 1983…
Bauhaus were an English rock band formed in Northampton in 1978, consisted of Peter Murphy (vocals), Daniel Ash (guitar), Kevin Haskins (drums) and David J (bass). The band broke up in 1983 and reunited for a 1998 tour and on a more permanent basis in 2005. The group announced plans to disband again following the release of their album, “Go Away White”, in 2008. The youngest perhaps noticed Murphy while Bauhaus toured with Nine Inch Nails in 2006 and Trent Reznor, Murphy and other tour-mate musicians (TV on the Radio, Peaches, etc) were guests on several radio shows together, often performing three to four duets per radio show. Reznor – as many others – cites Bauhaus as one of his primary musical influences.
After Bauhaus disbanded in 1983, Murphy worked with Mick Karn of Japan (bassist, keyboardist, guitarist, saxophonist) and Paul Vincent Lawford (rhythm construction) in the band Dali’s Car and released one album in 1984 “The Waking Hour” before going solo and releasing several albums: “Should the World Fail to Fall Apart” (1986), “Love Hysteria” (1988), “Deep”(1990), “Holy Smoke” (1992), “Cascade” (1995), “Dust” (2002) and “Unshattered” (2004).
Throughout 2009, Murphy released a series of cover songs exclusively through iTunes. The released songs are “Instant Karma!” (originally by John Lennon), “Space Oddity” (originally by David Bowie), “Transmission” (originally by Joy Division), and “Hurt” (originally by Nine Inch Nails).
In August 2010, on a video blog on his MySpace page Murphy announced that he was once again going to be working with Mick Karn on a second Dali’s Car album, adding this would be the first time they had seen each other since 1983. Several months prior to this announcement, Karn had been diagnosed with stage-4 cancer. The recording session that took place in September, 2010. However, because of Karn’s increasingly severe illness, they only managed to record four songs during the session. Karn succumbed to his illness January 4th, 2011. According to the biography on Karn’s website, the four songs the duo recorded will be released as an EP later in 2011.
Also in 2010, Murphy cancelled of what would have been a 100-date world tour with Brendan Perry of Dead Can Dance. This time Murphy cancelled due to unexplained health issues, which yielded negative reactions from Perry. Having Perry and Murphy together would be an exciting experience for sure!
“Ninth” – obviously – is the ninth studio album by Murphy, working with: Mark Gemini Thwaite – electric guitars, John Andrews – acoustic/electric guitars, Jeff Schartoff – infinite bass guitars, Nick Lucero – drums and producer David Baron. We’ve got 46 minutes of rock, dark rock. Murphy’s voice still hypnotizing, the album is a perfect mixture of pumping rock anthems and gloomy, psychotic tracks. Some lead us back to Bauhaus, others looking forward, but all of them are fresh and deep cuts into Murphy’s vibrating musical world.
“Velocity Bird” kick off as a punk rock anthem of the 80s, a “dusty” riff and Murphy’s voice are quite enough to set the world on fire. “Seesaw Sway” might be on any Bauhaus album, it’s gloomy but pumping, have that special something. “Peace To Each” is a noisy, garage-like rock anthem, absolutely heavy and glowing. “I Spit Roses” is the perfect blending of Bauhaus and Murphy’s later works, pumping and dark, hypnotic and rocking it smells like a good single. “Never Fall Out” is a ballad with a nice touch of Bowie taste, reminding me also of Nick Cave. “Memory Go” have a new vave groove and smells like the sweet 80s with some dark after-taste. “The Prince & Old Lady Shade” keep us in the same atmosphere being even darker. “Uneven & Brittle” sounds almost industrial while it’s gloomy and grinding. “Slowdown” is another absolute classic where the Bauhaus tradition and Murphy’s style melt into one. “Secret Silk Society” is very dark and mysterious while the last track, “CrÃ©me de la CrÃ©me” bring back some light and release, it’s a nice rock ballad in the best possible sense.
Simple, straight, truly Murphy, absolutely rock.