In 1978 a band would emerge from the tired punk scene in Northampton and this band had a gloomy and dark sound that caught the imagination right from their first single. They were also the band to embody the style of music known as "Gothic" and were the first true Gothic band. Their name was 'Bauhaus'.
At the end of the punk came the "New Wave" movement and many old punks were dissatisfied by this new sound yet one band managed to breath life back into the corpse that was punk and in doing so a new Frankenstein like creature was born.
Yet again I will not bore you with dates, stats and the discography of the band, I will leave you to work that out yourself but I do suggest you sample some of their music in the form of their best of CD called "Crackle".
Bauhaus's music was a contradiction, as minimalist as the artistic movement the band took their name from, yet full of texture and lacking nothing.
Their first single was Bela Lugosi's Dead which is a remarkable piece of music from the perspectives of the drummer and engineer. Kevin Haskins's drums in that song are a true test for any drummer, to try and keep time for 9 minutes with a repetitive drum beat. The delay on the drums is very reminiscent of Lee "Scratch" Perry's studio experiments and gives light to the huge influence that Dub played on the music of Bauhaus.
Kevin Haskins's Brother David J Haskins was the bass player in the band and his love of Dub is no secret and quite prevalent in their music throughout the band's disjointed career so a Dub influenced rhythm section from the brothers gave the band their backbone. But what of the enigmatic lead singer and the imp like guitarist?
Daniel Ash is one of rock's greatest guitarists, there can be no question of this. Not since Jimi Hendrix had a guitarist come out with such mastery and control of feedback as to make it part of the performance and not sound like a clumsy mess.
Ash's guitar style is like some hybrid of Hendrix and Syd Barrett yet unique in its own right with atmosphere and melodies produced from a combination of feedback and full note giving the listener an auditory experience quite unrivaled.
Then there is the lead singer Peter Murphy who's voice is like some Egyptian god screaming from inside a pyramid after being buried alive. He is one of rock's most enigmatic figures who's waif like frame (something that afflicted most of Bauhaus….I am not jealous honest) and energetic performances added to the already other worldly musical backdrop that was Bauhaus's live performances.
Anyway in a nutshell they were quite simply brilliant and the only band I have seen that epitomize "Gothic" music with no gimmicks just pure darkness mixed with a strange ethereal beauty.
They split up in 1983, then got back together in 1998 to tour then again in 2005 on a more permanent basis until their last album "Go Away White" in 2008 but broke up (for the last time?) soon after its release.
Will they reform?
I hope so but if they don't they have left us with a small but vital back catalogue that any music enthusiast should take a little time to listen through.
As a personal preference I love the album "Burning from the Inside"Â but my favorite song musk be "Mask" from the album of the same name which is a dark and menacing piece of music that must be listened to in its entirety. The song changes towards the end like "Hey Jude" if it were re-written by Aleister Crowley.
If you like mainstream music though I would keep well away from this just in case the impact of this music may be a little traumatic for your delicate consciousness.