Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Bauhaus - Burning From the Inside

This month marks the thirtieth anniversary of Burning From the Inside, the fourth studio album from the British gothic rock band Bauhaus. Charting at number 13 in the UK, it would be the final studio album the group would record before 2008.

The band consisted of Peter Murphy (vocals and guitar), Daniel Ash (guitar and vocals), David J (bass and vocals) and Kevin Haskins (drums).

Side one starts with “She’s in Parties”; as a single, it charted at number 28 in Ireland and number 26 in the UK. There is a somber mood to it. When I hear it I picture a loud night club with a strobe light going constantly overhead as a numbly intoxicated young woman dances slowly, sadly.

Opening with a tribal chant, “Antonin Artaud” tells of a young man who has a flare for extreme responses and actions.

The short instrumental “Wasp” is next; at twenty seconds long, this guitar grind barely makes a buzz.

“King Volcano” begins with a lovely guitar chord, followed the addition of other musical layers. It has a sort of medieval carnival flavor to it that I found enjoyable.

“Who Killed Mr. Moonlight” has a beautiful piano accompaniment as it tells of broken dreams and shattered hopes.

Side two opens with “Slice of Life”, a threatening lullaby that mixes love and pain.

“Honeymoon Croon” has an interesting reggae-tinged bounce to it rhythmically. I have to wonder if the woman mentioned in the song is Marilyn Monroe (she is the first person I thought of).

“Kingdom’s Coming” opens with another wonderful guitar movement. This one is like the calm before the final storm.

The title track “Burning From the Inside” is next. The guitar here is heavier and more ominous; combined with the slow, methodic vocals we end up with a very edgy track.

“Hope” closes out the record with a glimmer of light at the end of a long, dark tunnel.

While I had heard some Bauhaus songs previously, I was not at all familiar with this album. Not being a big gothic fan, I went into this review with lower expectations. I was quite surprised, though, with how much I liked Burning From the Inside. While it certainly would not have appealed to me back when I was eighteen in 1983, I can appreciate its darker tones and themes as a more mature adult.

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