1919 ‘Anxiety’ (Cleopatra Records)
CD | DL
Rel Date: Available now
Bradford’s 1919 originally formed in 1980, and almost immediately attracted the attention of John Peel for whom they went on to record two sessions broadcast in May 1982, and May 1983. The band played many times alongside an emerging Sisters of Mercy and were tagged within the goth rock genre, though failed to attain similar commercial success despite their menacing, sometimes bleak sound that always featured welcome hints of a dark melody. They split in 1984 leaving behind a couple of singles and a solitary mini-LP entitled ‘Machine’ on the legendary Red Rhino label.
Cherry Red Records released ‘The Complete Collection’ in 2001 which rekindled the public attention, despite this it took until 2014 for founder Mark Tighe to reignite 1919; he recruited frontman Rio Goldhammer, and original drummer Mick Reed, alongside Karl Donner, tragically Tighe passed away in 2017, though not before recording the album ‘Bloodline’ (Westworld Recordings), and insisting that the band carry on without him, as such ‘Futurecide’ is the first 1919 release not to feature Tighe’s song writing.
‘Futurecide’ cleverly combines the acerbic edge of their early material with a well-honed maturity that is evident with the rich melodies and textures.
Opener ‘Anxiety’ is a scream of desperation, showcasing the bands anguish and feelings of insecurity particularly within the bizarre political climate we currently find ourselves in, the track has a panoramic sound, underpinned by Reed’s solid drum patterns whilst Goldhammer’s vocals smoulder over the surface lit by shards of guitar. ‘Isolation’ is equally political and mirrors the bands own experiences struggling to gain visas for their recent US tour, the lyric “I hope your flag keeps you warm. You’d be a lucky man. Enjoy your isolation” sits within the fleshed-out sound, both pacey and aggressive, but then melodic and restrained the next as energetic riffs are countered with smooth choruses and again the splinters of guitar which are a highlight of the entire album.
Title track ‘Futurecide’ is crafted around a poignant guitar riff and welcome additional keyboards, similarly within ‘Radicals’ which has momentum, but it’s paired with frenetic intense vocal questioning as Goldhammer assets his own character on the 1919 sound.
1919 have expanded their palette, from their dark post punk goth beginnings into a much more accomplished beast, they haven’t abandoned their roots; tracks like ‘Speak Now’ reaffirm their love of eye-liner within its shimmering patterns, though perhaps stray a tad too close towards Peter Murphy vocalisations.
‘Futurecide’ is an emotional album, its 1919 stepping out of the shadows of their previous songwriter; the entire album is taut, laced with dark ripples of melodic grandeur which creates a welcome mystique and keeps the listen engaged throughout.
5. Dali Alarma
6. Speak Now
8. Man, Myth, And The Curse Of The Immortal
9. Stop The World
10. Where Are You Now?
More writing by Phil can be found at his Louder Than War Author’s Archive