A fitting swan song, Go Away White fuses a vanguard aesthetic and the classic Bauhaus sound with precision and panache. Twenty-five years after their seminal album In A Flat Field, these post-punk pioneers have produced an exceptional follow up. From the first track, Peter Murphy’s vocal risks are immediately apparent. It is safe to say that he has never been in better voice. “Too Much 21st Century” opens the record with a bright punchy saunter, heavy on mid-60′s Beatles guitars and background harmonies. On “Saved,” Murphy’s solo work comes to mind when chromatic melodies mingle with Middle Eastern tonalities and weighty sepulchral bells. (Think “Never Man,” “Socrates the Python,” or the Dust album.) Another standout track, “Mirror Remains,” is reminiscent of “Rosegarden Funeral of Sores” and finds Daniel Ash laying down chilling strains of reverb-driven leads atop David J and Kevin Haskins’ icy groove. The album’s most innovative achievement, however, has to be “The Dog’s A Vapour,” an incendiary track that invokes the band’s impressive past while simultaneously breaking new ground, eclipsing even their most impassioned offerings. We are left with one last scintillating artifact to add to the remains of an impressive musical career. (Bauhaus Music) –Kristen Sollee

 
  1. I just listened to it at the store (yes, shockingly, James stocked it!) on Tuesday and was amazed at how good it was.

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  2. Hi Kristen! Nice review!

    Since you asked for comments, I’ll start you off with a contrarian take reposted from Myspace:

    “It doesn’t sound or feel like a Bauhaus album, though. It feels like Bowie’s Aladdin Sane to the extent of throwaway “Why did they record this?” tracks combined with a smaller few that stand out. So, rather than 1983 or 2008, we’re in 1974. Which makes sense considering their original influences, but is still not quite the New Bauhaus Album I hoped for while the band was defunct. (“Too Much 21st Century” was particularly cringe-inducing and it led the tracklist.)

    Somewhere, really in the past couple of years for me, Bauhaus crossed over the fine line between “Bands I would love to see reunite” and “Bands I must accept that I missed when they were dynamic and relevant, and hope retire with some dignity left.” (See also: “Sex Pistols”)

    I mean, can the Stones’ Bridges to Babylon or A Bigger Bang really be favorably compared to Aftermath? Can the tours? Can their influence on current music? I feel that sadly, they cannot. By that same token I’m glad that [Bauhaus] did something that I at least find okay, and we don’t have to look forward to further, more mediocre Bauhaus albums, and Peter dragging his geriatric arse around the stage whilst bald as Max Schreck.”

    “Dog’s a Vapour” is definitely a highlight, but it was cut ten years ago for the Heavy Metal 2000 soundtrack (folks, I couldn’t make this stuff up) and lay buried until the band’s 2005 Coachella single. It’s also too long by half; every time I listen, I wish they would GET ON WITH THE GUITAR PART.

    Other than that, the high points of the CD were “Black Stone Heart” and listening to the band talk over the track like a Velvet Underground outtake on “Mirror Remains” (Did that make the final album? I’m guilty of listening to a leak.)

    I wouldn’t try to deny Bauhaus’ influence or achievements as a band and individual musicians, but I think they waited ten or fifteen years too long to write another record.

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  3. Admittedly I am a latecomer to this genre. But once personally discovered, the Flat Field album (along with several by Souxsie)immediately qued to the top of my favorites list.

    So when I saw a new Bauhaus album in the racks I bought it, unheard, without any thought or question. But alas, it is just a bit disappointing. Still good, but nowhere near to the expectation that my first thrill upon seeing gave rise to.

    If I had to buy these songs individually, “Mirror Remains” is easily worth twice the price of the entire album. That one I shall never tire of. And just maybe, “Endless Summer of the Damned” is something I’d pay a tenth the much for but will grow weary of over time. The rest are mostly just okay.

    Still, there is that one song. And for that I feel my money well spent. It alone I expect to remain in my MP3 player forever.

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  4. I really like the new album. Remember that each of the members have gone in many ways in their music in the intervening years, and though they have in some instances managed to find their old sound, the work contains some elements from both Love and Rockets and Peter’s solo career. “Too Much 21st Century”, for example, reminds me of Final Solution, much less than anything Bauhaus did together years back. And the digital sound of “The Dog’s A Vapour” is more Love and Rocket’s _Lift_ then Bauhaus.

    If you’ve loved all or most of the music from the members of Bauhaus since they split in 1983, you’ll like this album. If you didn’t care for Love and Rockets or Peter Murphy solo, you’ll still like half the album. If you’ve read this far, buy it.

    tom@tharrisx.homedns.org Tom

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