Name: Sisters of Mercy
Album: A Slight Case of Overbombing: Greatest Hits Volume One
Year: 1993Style: Goth, Dark Wave, Industrial
Similar Bands: Fad Gadget, KMFDM, Jesus & Mary Chain, Iggy Pop, Depeche Mode, Nitzer Ebb, Borghesia
"One-Word" Review: Bleak Factory RhetoricBased Out Of: Leeds, UK
Label: Elektra, Warner Music UK
A Slight Case of Overbombing: Greatest Hits Volume 1 - Tape & Cover & Notes
A Slight Case of Overbombing: Greatest Hits Volume 1 - Tape, LyricsA Slight Case of Overbombing: Greatest Hits Volume 1 (1993)
- Under The Gun
- Temple of Love (1992)
- Vision Thing
- Detonation Boulevard
- Doctor Jeep
- Lucretia My Reflection
- Dominion / Mother Russia
- This Corrosion
- No Time to Cry
- Walk Away
- Body & Soul
Members & Other Bands:
Andrew Eldritch (Andy Taylor) - Vox (Sisterhood, Sarah Brightman)
Gary Marx (Mark Pearman) - Guitar (Ghost Dance)
Doktor Avalanche - drum machine
Craig Adams - Bass (Sisterhood, The Mission, Colorsound, Expelaries, Spear of Destiny, The Alarm, The Cult, The Vaynes, Theater of Hate)
Ben Gunn (Ben Matthews) - Guitar
Wayne Hussey - Guitar (Dead or Alive, The Sisterhood, The Mission, Hambi & The Dance, Quadra, Walkie Talkies)
Patricia Morrison - Bass (Gun Club)
Jim Steinman - Producer
Larry Alexander - Producer
Tony James - Bass (Sique Sique Sputnik)
Tim Bricheno - Guitar (All About Eve, XC-NN)
Andreas Bruhn - Guitar (Doc Cheng, Earthbound, Favola, Fourth INC, MCV, MLB Project, Max Melvin, Miller & Floyd, Newman & Reece, Shadow Queens, Low Riders, Upserver)
Adam Pearson - Guitar
Boyd Steemson - Manager
John Perry - Guitars
Maggie Reilly - Vox
Ofra Haza - Vox
Terri Nunn - Vox (Berlin)
Andrea White - Illustration
Billie Hughes - Producer
Ian Stanley - Producer
Roxanne Seeman - Writer
Dave Allen - Mixing & Producer
Unknown-ness: I might have heard of them in passing before, but I've definitely heard of them since picking up this tape. Don't really even have to guess to know this is dark wave with gothic tones.
Album Review: From 1977 – 1990, the band, basically a project of co-creator & hard-to-deal-with Andrew Eldritch, his drum machine named Doktor Avalanche, and a revolving door of musicians, produced three albums before rebelling against their management and record label and never produced another album. He still tours under the name, and they have written new material, but they have not release any official follow up albums. There have been a bunch of breakaway bands form ex-members, most famously perhaps, the Mission UK (UK added here in the states). And as much as their music is attributed as goth, the band is adamantly against that classification, preferring “rock band.”
“Under The Gun” was recorded for this 1993 release, the final label released track for Sisters of Mercy. It has dark, deep vocals and ominous, droning atmospheric effects. Powerful guitars and female vocals supplied by Ofra Haza add to the stark, barren soundscape. Eldritch’s chanting vocals are layered underneath.
“Temple of Love (1992)” chugging guitar and soaring female siren vocals. Male vocals pick up with a dark, steady mechanical tone, reminding me of German industrial or KMFDM. Once it kicks in, it becomes dark and danceable. Could see this used in a stereotypical film set trying to show a vampire dance club or a gothic audience.
“Vision Thing” starts with a heavy metal guitar, where screeching vocals are expected, we have the continued authoritarian vocals chanted like demands and laws brought down from a restricted society. Supposedly this, the title of the album it came from, was a quote from VP George HW Bush, so the mood and theme probably are derived from US politics.
“Detonation Boulevard” carries on the theme of buzzy metal guitar chords played over a dark, angular, mechanical backdrop. Vocals parody Iggy Pop and other deep, steady, rhetoric-fueled sounds.
“Doctor Jeep” is motivational song with a training montage musical pace. Crystal synth creates a bleak landscape under the driving tempos. And as the male vocals are steady and monotone, the female vocals have a nice melody and complement well.
“More” builds up in pieces for the first minute and breaks back down after the drum brake hits. Quiet vocals and Running Man atmospheric keyboards add until it really kicks in at 1:50 with some power chords and a chorus of energetic female vocals to clash with the drab, bleak lead vocals.
“Lucretia My Reflection” kicks off with a solid bass line and simple bass/kick drum mechanical rhythm. The vocals explode with the guitars (as much as monotone vocals can) about 1:30 in and the propaganda-chanting echos imagery of dark and cold communist USSR. This is another solid darkwave dance track. The instrumental section seems to go on a lot longer than necessary, not covering any new ground as it proceeds.
“Dominion / Mother Russia” starts with an industrial bass & metal sheet-drum beat, and features a watery guitar loop overlaid. The shuttering monotone lead vocals brood and follow a melody bolstered by angelic female vocals in the chorus. Once the song transitions to the Mother Russia part, with the same basic elements as Dominion, it begins to sound like a dark wave Talking Heads song.
“This Corrosion” has more of an Iggy Pop / Richard Butler vocal style with more melody than previous songs. The female chorus still echoes darkly, but at its heart, the song is actually upbeat and quite catchy – at least comparatively – with its Hank Kingsly-ish Hey Now Now chorus. Of course, this version is over 10 minutes long, so I could have dealt with the radio edit.
“No Time to Cry” cryptically begins with a few simple instruments then picks up like a dark New Order song. The vocals are deep and dark. There is a Devo-ish pogoing vocal in the background of the chorus. The lead vocals feel a little forced at being creepy.
“Walk Away” leans a little more toward arena rock, but on top of the cold, jangly guitars is that steady drum machine loop that makes it feel like industrial music underlying Dracula vocals.
“Body & Soul” almost has an oriental feel to it at the outset. The power guitar comes in, followed by the dark vocals. The song is pulled in the three ways, and it carries an overall mystical tone.
Stand Out Track: This Corrosion (radio edit)
AV Club: This Corrosion
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