this week for the weekly review, we’re staying in 1980 to check out Bauhaus’s debut record, In the Flat Field!

the opening track here, Dark Entries, has a really fun, high energy punky track. v fun. Double Dare is strange and weird in rambling and meandering ways. really got into this track – it’s very cool lyrically too. the title track, In the Flat Field, is a whole ass journey. A God in an Alcove is a more pensive track – im liking what the subdued, almost talk singy vocals do here. the transition into Dive is pretty breakneck though, haha. this track rocks, no lie. i think the spacey nature of a Spy in the Cab is effective but i’m honestly not really into this track. Small Talk Stinks is a WEIRD track, one of the weirdest on the record, in my view. something about the echoy percussive elements layered onto the vocals here does some work in making this strange, not to mention the bridge here. v fun track. and hey, they have a good point with this one. St. Vitus Dance is a lot of fun. Stigmata Martyr reaches an interesting kinda fever pitch to it, a very affective track. i gotta say the period of quiet that opens Nerves is a neat touch to reset the vibes. “nerves like nylon, nerves like steel” is the lyrical core to this track, and damn it’s a really effective core, especially as the vocals build and the dissonant piano crashes in. Telegram Sam really throws things for a loop here, bringing in a kind of rockabilly vibe to it – i like this track a lot. Rosegarden Funeral of Sores is a cover of a track i’m fully unfamiliar with from John Cale, and i’m not huge on this one. Terror Couple Kill Colonel has some fun, really spacious guitar work. Scope feels like an inspiration for the Jacket song from the Venture Brothers, and on that loose connection alone i actually kind of love Scopes. the Untitled instrumental track here is neat. the alternate take of God in an Alcove is neat but doesn’t do much for me. Crowds closes us out with a someone bitter statement to the audience. v solid.

faves – Dark Entries, Dive, Telegram Sam, Scope
dislikes –

i think the only Bauhaus track i’ve spent any amount of time with before this was Bela Lugosi’s Dead, so i dunno what i was expecting but this record had a lot more than that. one of the things i was uncertain about when doing initial listens was which tracks to include – the original release of the record only contained the tracks from Double Dare to Nerves – and i think the other tracks included, which were mostly non-album singles, definitely do have a different vibe. i think Dark Entries is a great track but it is definitely a different opener than Double Dare, for example, and it’s really clear that Nerves was a closer, with that knowledge in mind. i definitely over-worried though. that original run is probably a tighter, cleaner package, but the extra tracks included don’t really detract from the full picture of the record, and what we have here is a really sonicly diverse record musing on being an outsider, the occult, and the anxieties of interacting with a society that reacts really poorly to weirdos. very neat album, and i had a good time with it.

In the Flat Field – 6/10

next week, i’ll be checking out 3:47 EST by Klaatu. i’ll be back next Friday, May 5th with that review and to pick another weekly record, and in the meantime, let me know what album you’d like me to review! (i pool all suggestions in one place, and draw a person, then one pick from that person, so feel free to drop as many as you’d like! if you leave an email or username i’ll contact you when i’ve gotten through all your suggestions.)