Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Spear Of Destiny

Grapes Of Wrath
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Originating in London's squalid post-punk squat scene from the ashes of many lost legacies, most notably main-man Kirk Brandon's Theatre Of Hate, this particular Spear brooded beneath lacquered fringes rather than the pierced sides of religious icons. Splicing through the great pop / goth divide as The Mission would do a few years hence, these would-be epic takes of portentous possibilities and malingering longing certainly contain a panoramic spaghetti-western sweep - saxophones to the fore on isolated salients of splendour, tremoring tom-toms rebounded from The Cure's colossalPORNOGRAPHY, and spiney guitar lines like cobwebs fluttering in the wake of a ghostly presence. It may be coincidence that this Spear Of Destiny Mk.1 featured their ex-drummer but it does come across like The Thompson Twins' dour doppelgangers at times, which, on majestic opuses like Flying Scotsman and The Wheel is no bad thing, as Mike Scott wafts on the wind and waves, amidst Bryan Ferry's mystic pouting circa AVALON (Aria) and Ian Raspberry's histrionic Death Cult tribal dramas like The Preacher. Alas, the 80's soft-core production lets things down a bit and brooding can too often be mis-read as plodding. However, for a fence-sitting finale, 'tis a handsome deville of a reissue indeed, what with eight whole, if not entirely wholesome for the musical soul, extra tracks making up the entire recorded hymnal of Brandon's first step into a destiny still doing the (ghost)dance, though one he discarded almost as quickly as it arose, gathering a new clan for their second album...grapes of wrath indeed.

- Stu Gibson

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