Siouxsie & the Banshees Tinderbox Review

Album. Released 2009.  

BBC Review

It demonstrates the regard in which they continue to hold their audience.

Daryl Easlea 2009

Tinderbox was Siouxsie and the Banshees' seventh studio album; and by the time of its release in April 1986, the band had become unwilling and unwitting figureheads of the now well-defined Goth movement in the UK. Recorded at the same studios in Berlin where David Bowie had recorded "Heroes", Tinderbox arrived as many of their original peers had either long splintered or resorted to parody.

Sioux and Severin were being asked about their longevity and that, as being ten years in to their career, should they not be pushed aside like the prog dinosaurs had been a decade previously. Siouxsie was having none of it and told Sounds curtly that "We haven't replaced Genesis or Yes by any means." And she’s right – this was not a band resting on their laurels. It was a band pushing forward, seizing the moment.

Producer Hugh Jones allows the Banshees to put together an effective mix of icy dramatics on the first studio album with ex-Clock DVA guitarist, John Valentine Carruthers. The album was trailed by the single Cities In Dust, one of Siouxsie's best vocal performances. The last days of Pompeii vibe seemed to chime perfectly with the times as the excess of the 80s was spiralling out of control.

Tinderbox is a rollicking, demanding listen. Carruthers, aware of being the fourth guitarist in the band, dives head-first into the melee. It's fairly unrelenting listing. By now, they had perfected the overlaying of acoustic guitars on their work – hear Cannons, the album’s finest track. The galloping attack of Budgie's drums compliments the slippery liquidity of Carruthers’ guitar on Party's Fall.

The 2009 remaster of Tinderbox with its bonus material and suitably florid notes from Paul Morley make it another exemplary addition to Banshees' reissue series. It demonstrates the regard in which they continue to hold their audience.

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