Tuesday, April 3, 2007

LUDDITES - The Strength Of Your Cry (EP, 1983)

LUDDITES - Altered States (7-inch, 1984)

Oddly, aside from Das Kabinette, all of the bands I’ve reviewed thus far have been from the North American continent. The reason I think this odd is because an awful lot, if not the majority, of the music I listen to actually originates in Europe, and to be more specific, the United Kingdom most repeatedly. So, out of proper respect for my collection I thought it high time to grab something that just screamed British, and for this I have chosen two 45s from the not so prim and proper English band called Luddites.

Luddites’ 1983 debut EP, “The Strength of Your Cry”, shows us an enthusiastic young band successfully utilizing a wide range of familiar Brit-punk stylings from poppy postpunk to barbaric anarcho-punk to edgy goth. It’s an interesting listen for sure, being loose and dancey one moment, and then tense and chilly the next, but I can’t help but to feel slightly let down by the EP’s lack of direction or personal style. I mean I was entering one of the songs into a playlist the other day and almost found myself spelling the band’s name out J-o-y D-i-v…… ACKKK!

But wait… it would be completely absurd to judge a band on one release alone (unless they only have one release of course), so let us take a moment to soak in Luddites’ second release titled “Altered States” which is a convincing testament to the band’s true emerging spirit. With only one year of growth the band have decidedly tossed aside their hardcore leanings and chosen to give focus to the cold, gothic-tinged postpunk they had touched on earlier. Sounding like a fit of anger drowning in a pool of fresh tears, the two songs offered here will awaken inner sadness and stir up once calm nerves. And although the Joy Division influence is still apparent (is this a bad thing?), the band’s skill level has noticeably improved providing a denser, more complex listening experience and a greater understanding of just where these guys hoped to go. Too bad “Altered States” would be the band's final epitaph.

DOT #11