Welcome to the latest edition of ‘Golden Vault’, where we delve into the annals of music to bring you a classic album. You’ll know some like the back of your hand and nothing of others. We hope to get you reacquainted with old friends and create new favourites. The album to be taken out of the Golden Vault for reappraisal this week is ‘Jeopardy’ by post-punk’s forgotten men The Sound.
We’ve all heard thousands of sounds from hundreds of bands, but have you heard of The Sound? The band existed from 1979 until 1988 producing five albums which traversed the same post-unk soundscapes as the likes of Joy Division and Echo And The Bunnymen. Combining the ferocity and energy of the punk scene with more sophisticated musical tools such as synth and deep brooding vocals, ‘Jeopardy’ and its follow-up ‘From The Lion’s Mouth’ make The Sound one of the most unappreciated bands of the post-punk era.
The gentle chugging of the guitar at the start of I Can’t Escape Myself belies the fierce intensity of Adrian Borland’s powerfully delivered vocals and gritty guitar playing that emerge during the chorus. The poignant lyrics are sung with real aggression and meaning, and the soft verse/loud chorus captures the sense of entrapment perfectly. The striking lead synth riff of Heartland maintains the momentum set by the storming opener, while Hour Of Need is a slightly slower track that still retains the dark intensity that bubbles beneath all the tracks on this album.
Missiles begins off incredibly sinisterly with the instruments fading in and out around a moody bassline, before the drums force them all into lockstep as Borland yells about the dangers of nuclear weapons. Resistance is a fast paced, energetic slab of post-punk power with a massive synth riff that drives the whole song forward. These urgent in-your-face tracks are balanced out by the more mournful Unwritten Law and Desire, where we see Borland’s vocals take on a more delicate role. The distinctive dark mood that characterises the best post-punk bands permeates throughout this album, and Borland’s earnest lyrics make for a brilliant listen. The chemistry between the instruments is also fantastic; the band know whether a riff should be on guitar or synth, and when to pick up the pace or slow down.
Despite critical acclaim, The Sound never achieved much commercial success with ‘Jeopardy’, or its equally wonderful successor ‘From The Lion’s Mouth’. The band released three more albums but fraught record label relations, and Borland’s deteriorating mental state ensured the band never had anything more than a cult following.
Following The Sound’s split Adrian Borland embarked upon a solo career releasing five studio albums including ‘Brittle Heaven’ and ‘Beautiful Ammunition’. Sadly, like Ian Curtis before him Borland committed suicide, throwing himself in front of a train at Wimbledon Station in 1999. Leaving behind a legacy of over 10 studio albums including The Sound’s cult classic ‘Jeopardy’.
Did you enjoy this weeks edition of Golden Vault? Get involved, comment below and join us next week in the Golden Vault where we’ll be discussing ‘Trompe Le Monde‘ by Pixies.