Friday, September 24, 2010

Gun Club - fire of love (1981)

One of the best albums ever made.

The anthem "Sex Beat" sets the blues-punk train rolling. The dynamics gets even more precise and frantic in "Preaching The Blues" (a Robert Johnson cover), but things tone down a bit in the country-blues-punk "Promise Me", only to go berserk again in "She's Like Heroin To Me".

The way the Gun Club "expand" these songs to the point of delirium by adding extra layers of intensity is simply breathtaking. In just 2:30 minutes, "She's Like Heroin To Me" is like a piece of wood on fire, which then gets gasoline poured on top so that the fire gets even more wild, burning to it to the point of total consumption.

"For The Love Of Ivy" returns to the surgical manic precision of "Preaching The Blues", the band riding this roller-coaster ride with spectacular accuracy, while Jeffrey Lee Pierce screams his guts out like a madman. This dramatic side-one ends with "Fire Spirit", their most dramatic moment yet, but things don't let off in side-two, blasting straight away with "Ghost On The Highway", another emotional tour-de-force.

"Jack On Fire" displayed another dimension of their sound, still consumed by the infernal punk energy, but vibrating like a personal tragedy, and at the same time elegant like an epic. The coda to this amazing track is even more entrancing, with backing vocals adding a universal tone, while the lead guitar blazes through the sky like a comet.

With highlight after highlight, "Black Train" returns to a more feverish pace, displaying a devilish rhythm, with a less protagonist role for the guitar, showcasing instead the punctuality of Rob Ritter's bass and Terry Graham's drums.

"Cool Drink Of Water", a Tommy Johnson delta-blues cover, is the most traditional song here and as such the album's only misfire. However, the closer "Goodbye Johnny" returns to the more constrained narrator perspective of "Promise Me", though in a more universal manner. Get it here.