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The Sisters of Mercy – Floodland (1987)

September 6, 2014

[Album 341/1001]The_Sisters_of_Mercy_-_Floodland_cover

How to get a favourable movie review from yours truly: ensure a lead character is wearing a good band t-shirt at some point.

Think Isla Fisher in Definitely Maybe, Seth Rogen in the 40 Year Old Virgin, Shia Lebouf in Transformers.

Of course, nobody can hold a candle to Garth’s Wayne’s World wardrobe (and quite frankly, nothing will ever be remotely close to the film itself).

A more recent entry in the film-enhanced-by-T-shirt collection?  Simon Pegg’s ensemble in The World’s End.

His lead character, Gary, was among the saddest in recent memory: a dishonest, irresponsible alcoholic, hopelessly stuck in the past.  And would you look at that Sisters of Mercy shirt!

As I’ve since learned, the shirt was only the tip of the iceberg; Pegg’s 40-something character modeled his whole style after that band’s 20-something singer from 1987.  Aiming for hip, yet missing so tragically.  Canadian band wordplay 🙂

Floodland may be classified as gothic but it’s far from tragic: it’s a good listen (and it did not fall apart in the last 15 minutes or so like The World’s End).

It is obviously of its time but sometimes a dose of 80s programming is just what the doctor ordered.  Fittingly in this case, the drum programming is credited to a drum machine named Doktor Avalanche.

The good Doktor isn’t known for his subtlety; some of the drum intros make Mutt Lange’s productions look positively bashful!

The intro to Flood I in particular stomps into the domain of Phil Collins & In The Air Tonight .  If you can stop yourself from singing that (or Dr. Zaius Dr. Zaius) as the drums burst in, I admire your self-restraint.

I really like the driving bassline in Lucretia My Reflection and the tasteful guitar in tunes like Dominion/Mother Russia puts this above ’87 contemporaries like Depeche Mode in my books.

Speaking of Depeche Mode, Floodland is also another record where I’m curious how the songs would sound with another lead singer.  Previously I’ve pondered aloud about Eddie Vedder subbing in for Neil Young, Stars supporting Arcade Fire; with Sisters of Mercy providing the music, I’d love to hear Dave Gahan’s vocal take on a few of these tracks.

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From → 1980s

16 Comments
  1. jprobichaud permalink

    Wow! The sisters are in the 1001 albums book?! That’s awesome! I saw Andrew Eldritch and whoever else he put together as Sisters of Mercy circa 1999 at the Warehouse in Toronto. Great show! But I’ll never forget the shock on all the goth kids faces when he came onstage with bleached blonde hair and a Hawaiian shirt.

    • Bleached blonde hair you say? Almost as shocking as when Robert Smith chopped his off!

      Credit to the 1001 list – they definitely have a diverse sample of the 50 years from 1955-2005.

      Speaking of bands with the lead guy + whoever else is in the band at the time, I wouldn’t be surprised if Mr. Reznor of Nine Inch Nails was a fan of this back in the day

      • jprobichaud permalink

        I think it’s very possible that Reznor had listened to early Sisters.

  2. jprobichaud permalink

    Oh and the Worlds end was awesome. I think it was about me and my buddies

    • Please tell me you’re not Simon Pegg!

      • jprobichaud permalink

        Nope. I think my friend Andrew Rodriguez fits Simon Pegg’s character, except that my friend Tim was the real Sisters fan. Andrew is more into Paul Weller.

  3. Never really listened to Sisters of Mercy until I got satellite radio – then they played “this corrosion” on a seemingly endless loop….I loved it!!

    • that’s the tune I’ve been singing to myself, hey now, hey now now, on a seemingly endless loop (sorry family)!

      • You ever see the video? Yikes, lady’s looking like Frank-n-furter from Rocky Horror…”I’m just a sweet trans-hey now, hey now now…”

      • Currently viewing – yikes indeed!
        He’s got a bit of a Michael Jackson vibe going as well.
        I find myself singing the 80s tune “the heat is on” whenever I hear the music kick in after the choir intro

  4. …and your “canadian band wordplay” doesn’t escape me, sir! lol

  5. This is the only album I’ve got of theirs. Not had it long but I really like it too. One of my favourite bands Paradise Lost are always being compared to them so I thought it was time I checked them out.

    • From what I gather, they’ve gone through a few different sounds. But they’re 1 for 1 at least for me after this album!

  6. I have no perspective on this LP at all – it was far too important for me when I was 17. All I will say is that the sound of ‘Lucretia, My Reflection’ ? pure sexy.

    • I’m with you on the power of music you loved at age 17 – objectivity is never really possible with music and becomes beyond impossible when you loved/lived for the group in high school!

      • I reckon I could still write out all the lyrics to ‘Driven Like The Snow’, without pausing.

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