Friday, October 15, 2010

The Cure: Carnage Visors (4/5)

Year: 1981
Genre: Atmospheric Post-Punk
Label: Elektra
TRT: 27:45

Until recently, very few people had heard this piece, or even knew it existed. It was written as the soundtrack to an animated short film Simon Gallup’s brother Ric directed. This short was used in lieu of a support band for the Picture Tour in 1981, and could only be found on the B side of the Faith cassette tape release.

I stumbled across it a number of years ago in a friends collection. I asked him about it and he gave me the back-story, and needless to say I was intrigued. Fortunately for me, I had the capability to do a tape rip and burn to CD (ah, the good ol’ days). At the time I didn’t dig it too much (but then, at the time I didn’t dig Pornography either, and now it’s one of my all time favorite albums). It was too minimal and too repetitive.

Fast forward a few years, and I again stumbled across the song, this time as an MP3 in my music library. Curious to see if it was as boring as I remembered, I put it on while reading. This time through though, it really clicked. I realized there is a lot more going on under the surface of this piece than is readily apparent. While it is indeed minimal and repetitive, there are a plethora of subtleties and hypnotic textures present that seem to just pull you in and hold you under. This is quite the sinister little composition. Bleak, dark, stark and I can only imagine that the film meant to accompany it was equally unnerving (something to do with toys and inanimate objects), though I still have not been able to track it down to see for myself.

Alas, my humble tape rip is no longer a rarity, as Carnage Visors was re-released on the recent Faith remastered deluxe package, and easily available to the masses. And while I’m sure the sonic integrity is much improved, I’d rather listen to my own dubious rip, “quality” be damned. There are some things that are better when left in obscurity, if for no other reason than to preserve their mystique. The forgotten and unknown often possess peculiar sway when discovered. That’s the way this was for me. I hope that’s the way it is for you as well.

01 Carnage Visors

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