So here’s a band I’m late to, having only got around to liking them in the last year. I know what you’re thinking (where the hell were you for the last thirty years?), but in my defense, I was raised on a diet of Schubert and Chopin, and in my rebellious teens began to blow my ears off with Metallica and Slayer.
The upshot is that, even though I knew I really ought to be into The Cure, I just somehow never got around to it. Life was saved by a happy coincidence involving Pandora and an unlimited iPhone data plan; it all started with The Sisters of Mercy in the car on the way to work, which turned into Depeche Mode in the car to work, which turned into Siouxsie and the Banshees, and naturally, The Cure. (Blondie and The Smiths somehow found their way in there too; did you ever notice that big hit Muse had a while ago, Uprising, has an awful lot in common with Call Me?)
Now see, I should have bloody known I loved Robert Smith and his miserable band of Brits back when I first watched The Crow, given that their song, Burn, features rather prominently (along with Ministry, which gives away the awesomeness of this movie).
But it wasn’t until very recently that I bought my very first ever The Cure album! I’m a little disappointment to say I bought it on a CD; long gone are the beloved days of actual records.
I pretty much knew it was going to have to be Disintegration. My wife personally loves Boys Don’t Cry, from their debut album, but being a good little goth, it’s just a little too upbeat for me. Disintegration is a lush, brooding and miserable head trip, from the opening acid-fuelled Plainsong, through to absolutely gorgeously despondent tracks such as Pictures of You, Prayers for Rain, and the title track.
Robert, being the good little goth he was, was in a thoroughly miserable and depressed state by 1989, upset by the fact that The Cure were popular, and consequently began using LSD to self-medicate (now, of course, we’re all stuck with valium). The result was one of their darkest records to date, and many of the lyrics reflect this. From lost love (a favorite meme of The Cure) to the anxiety of drugs, each and every track paints pictures in black:
“I think it’s dark and it looks like rain,” you said
“And the wind is blowing like it’s the end of the world,” you said
“And it’s so cold, it’s like the cold if you were dead,”
Then you smiled for a second
Plainsong – The Cure, 1989
Remembering you, how you used to be
Slow drowned, you were angels, so much more than everything
Hold for the last time, then slip away quietly
Open my eyes, but I never see anything
Pictures of You – The Cure, 1989
And I feel like I’m being eaten
By a thousand million shivering furry holes
And I know that in the morning I will wake up in the shivering cold
And the spiderman is always hungry
“Come into my parlour,” said the spider to the fly
“I have something.”
Lullaby – The Cure, 1989
This album has been on repeat for some time now, and it gets better every time. It takes me back to a time when the room was dark, and the candles were lit, and there was smoke in the air and the soothing sound of music, soft and dark, permeated the stillness. Of lying on the ground, of the scent of blood, and the trip as the floor begins to tilt beneath you.