Music Reviews

Artist: South Of No North
Title: Rajah
Format: CD
Label: Dead Scarlet (@)
Rated: *****
I'm quite sure some of people who started reading this review are daredevil fans of Bukowski, as South Of No North is also the title of a collection of short stories written by the notorious German-American poet as well as of a theatrical adaptation by Leo Farley and Jonathan Powers of nine of them and it's possible this talented Greek band borrowed it when they came together in 1983, inspired by gothic and new wave breezes blowing all over the European charts in the roaring 80ies, upheaving many interesting bands in Athens such as Metro Decay, Villa 21 (even if this band mixed interpreted new wave in a more punkish idiom) or the nice Art Of Parties, a veritable assumption if you consider many lyrics seem strongly influenced by key writings for gothic culture such as the tender song Annabelle Lee, inspired by the homonymous (wonderful) poem by Edgar Allan Poe, arguably referring to the death of Clemm, Poe's wife, and superbly interpreted by the singer Andreas Grigoriadis. Even if unavoidably sheafing solid logs such as Joy Division (especially in track such as Dependance or the untidely dragging trascendency of Monster, both of them belonging to the first whimpers of the band), Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, the most oniric part of Cure's music (the vocal tones and the gentle strokes of plectrum of the well-done The Hand Of Glory are maybe the best clues of this ghostly presence) and some cursed singing close to the one by Nick Cave, South Of No North in this record, reissued maybe after many listeners experienced problems in finding it after being touched by their music, shows a considerably stylistical composure and keeps such a sober elegance and a distinctevely strong identity, keeping distance from that imitating countenance many bands departing from those musical territories normally do maybe for a sort of flamboyant idolatry. I feel it's not right their geographical position (sometimes living in the fringe of the world places many talented bands at a disadvantage) could bury this band into oblivion. If you used to listen (and somewhat idolize) the above-mentioned legendary bands, you'll agree with me.

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