Friday, December 20, 2019

Lydia Lunch - Honeymoon in Red

This is an odd one even for no-wave princess Lydia Lunch. A collaboration with the Birthday Party - although Lunch had a falling out with them before the record was released, which led to using aliases on the album - this is a self-described concept album that sounds like a no-wave/noize band's take on a soundtrack album. The ambient/noisy sounds take center stage, with Lunch sometimes not appearing at all - Rowland Howard and Nick Cave both take lead vox at times - which makes me assume that it was initially not meant as a LL solo album, but I suppose that term can be fluid.

In any case, musically, this is not far removed from the Birthday Party's Prayers on Fire style, with long, drone-y numbers backed by interesting, tribal percussion and cacophonous guitars - Thurston Moore adds his own brand of chaos to the proceedings at times - backing the lyrics. But the lead vocals are usually so buried and somewhat monotone that it is difficult to decipher what the story line is meant to be.

Despite all of this, I really enjoy this release a lot! As a fan of the early 80's noize bands, this 1987 release has a properly grating sound that still is highly listenable. Certainly not anything close to rock'n'roll, but fans of the artists involved should dig it.

Oh yes, and it all closes with yet another cover of Lee Hazelwood's "Some Velvet Morning", which works well in this treatment.