# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Virgin Prunes - Profile Part 2

  by Anthony Strutt

published: 7 / 1 / 2005

Virgin Prunes - Profile Part 2


In the conclusive part of our two part feature on the experimental Irish art rockers the Virgin Prunes, Anthony Strutt looks at their three of their latter albums,'...If I Die, I Die', 'Heresie' and 'The Moon Looked Down and Laughed'

'....If I Die, I Die'(1982) '....If I Die, I Die'was the first of the Virgin Prunes two albums to be released in 1982. The second Virgin Prunes album to come out and their first to be purely song-based, it is by far the easiest of their albums to listen to. It was produced by Colin Newman of Wire. '....If I Die, I Die'opens up with a 70's sounding Italian horror soundtrack number called 'Vlakanakulot'. 'Decline and Fall' follows and continues the first track's groove, but, while its predecessor was instrumental,it features vocals from singer Gavin Friday, who on this song sounds like Iggy Pop. 'Sweethome Under White Clouds' has a howling vocal and is backed by jabgly gothic trendy music that has an Eastern vibe. 'Bau-Dachong' sounds eerie, but has a perky bass line and army marching style drums along with a Bowie-ish vocal. 'Pagan Lovesong' is a bass and dark drum based number that rocks in big fashion with Pil style vocals. This is followed by 'Dave-ID is Dead', which features Adam and the Ants style drums, an X Ray Spex type vocals and very weird guitar patterns. 'Fado' sounds like Siouxsie and the Banshees 'Happy House' and the Cure during their 'Faith' era. 'Baby Turns Blue' is a Gothic style dance. 'Ballad of the Man', which is next, comes as a total shock as it sounds like pure 80's pop, not Gothic at all and very, very twee. 'Walls of Jericho' is again early 80's flavoured and sounds somewhere between Siouxsie and the Banshees, early Echo and the Bunnymen and early U2. 'Caucasian Walk' again sounds like early Banshees, while 'Theme for Thought' has two vocals, the main one being Pil flavoured, while the second one goes into narrative mode. The music is reminiscent of the early Cure. 'Chance of a Lifetime' is dark waveish with the vocals used like another instrument. The instrumentation on it is made to sound like special effects. '....If I Die, I Die' ends with 'Yea' which is an instrumental mood peice which has a solo piano break at the end with a moan of a voice that sounds like its crying from beyond the grave. 'Heresie' (1982) 'Heresie' was the second of the two Virgin prunes albums to come out in 1982. It was originally released on the French label L'Invitation au Suicide as two 10" singles. 'Heresie' comes in two parts. The first part is a studio part which was written during the day and then recorded in a Dublin studio at night. This saw the band go without sleep for three days. It lasts for seven songs. It opens with 'We Love Deirdre' which is a short eerie piece that also uses a flute. It sounds very much like a horror film soundtrack and has a narrative story which recalls Edgar Allan Poe. As with most of this first part, it is very performance based. 'Rheteoric' which comes next is very much like something off the soundtrack to Dario Argento's 'Suspiria'. It is confrontational and noisy and has an industrial sound with loud, throbbing drums, a heavy bass and a very moody guitar. 'Down the Memory Lane' comes as something of a relief and is a parody of an Irish drinking song. 'Man on the Corner' sounds for the first half simply like a drunken man yelling, but changes direction halfway through to feature some strong piano playing and weird drums. 'Nisam Lo' sounds like it is covering Jack the Ripper territory, so, needless to say, it is eerie in tone, but also short and direct and to the point. The bass on this sounds quite industrial and as it progresses it begins to sound increasingly Gothic. Gavin Friday's vocals sound like those of Andrew Eldritch from the Sisters of Mercy. 'Loved One' is again horror film like and similar in tone to 'Nisam Lo.' 'Go 't Away Deidre' ends the studio performances and is similar to 'We Love Deirdre', but this time features a conversation between two noisy people. The second half of 'Heresie' was recorded at the Rex Club in April 1982 and on the whole is less experimental and more song based in tone. The audience can only be heard at the end of the last track. All five songs do not feature amongst the studio material on the album. 'Caucasian Walk is vocal lead and has a powerful bass line and industrial drums. The guitar has an edgy strange feel and it sounds a little like early Killing Joke. 'Walls of Jericho' recalls the Skids, while 'Pagan Lovesong' comes across as a cross between early U2 and early Pil. 'Theme for Thought' features a deep bass and, chaotic in tone, has a Bauhaus style vocal from Friday. 'Come to Daddy' is the longest track here and is quite punky and new wavish in its delivery. The vocal sounds very much like Pil. On the whole it is far easier to digest than many of the tracks on display here, but at the 6 minute mark it goes back to being performance art and becomes more experimental. 'The Moon Looked Down and Laughed'(1986) 'The Moon Looked Down and Laughed' is very different to the previous four previous Virgin Prunes albums and concists of a set of torch songs. The album opens up with 'Heaven' which sounds like the Walker Brothers at their best. 'Our Love Will Last Forever Until the Day It Dies' has deep bass, Bauhuas vocals, a big orchestration and an introduction that sounds like the soundtrack to the stabbing scene in 'Psycho'. @I am God' is sung as a duet with an opera singer and features early Bunnymen style guitar lines. 'Alone' has aggressive guitar lines and, like much of the rest of the album, Marc Almond style vocals from Gavin Friday. 'Sons Find Devils' features a harpsichord and deep bass and is darkly humorous. Imagine the devil in a corner looking over you back while a voclaist sings, and that is the mood this song creates. 'Uncle Arthur's Lonely World' is completely different, and it sounds like the Beatles 'Eleanor Rigby', but played by a post punk band. 'True Life Story' comes across a mix of Bauhaus industrial rock and Davie Bowie. 'The Tortured Heart' is in similar style, while 'Betrayal' again is Bowie-ish. 'Just a Love Song' is a slow piano ballad, but sounds amateurish. The last three songs, 'Deadly Sins', 'Days of Ages' and 'The Moon Looked Down and Laughed' are in similar fashion and conclude one of the Virgin Prunes more commerical albums.

Picture Gallery:-
Virgin Prunes - Profile Part 2

Virgin Prunes - Profile Part 2

Virgin Prunes - Profile Part 2

Virgin Prunes - Profile Part 2

Post A Comment

your name
ie London, UK
Check box to submit


Profile Part 1 (2004)
Virgin Prunes - Profile Part 1
In the first part of a two part series, Anthony Strutt profiles Irish new wave art collective the Virgin prunes and examines their debut album, 'A New Form of Beauty'

digital downloads

most viewed articles

most viewed reviews

Pennyblackmusic Regular Contributors