56 of my favorite LP's pretentiously and succinctly reviewed

By Brantly Brantly
updated over 2 years ago

I had this set of reviews on an old Sputnik Music list a several years ago, and figured I'd also throw it on here. I haven't been on Sputnik for some time and spend tons of time on Discogs, so, may as well update. This is by no means comprehensive, and is in fact woefully inadequate in the dark wave, post punk, noise, industrial, KBD punk, metal, hardcore, doom, 7" single department, but this list was compiled based on LP's in the Sputnik LP library, so tons of stuff is not on here. I spent a lot of my life pouring over Aquarius Records (R.I.P) reviews, and with hindsight, I definitely purloined some of their terminology, but all in all, I'll stand by these reviews...have fun my friends.

  1. Angelo Badalamenti - Soundtrack From Twin Peaks

    It's fitting that the best show of all time has the best soundtrack of all time. Not only does Angelo Badalementi create a dark and memorable musical atmosphere wrapped in eerie layers of tragic, gauzy, waltzy loss, but, he also manages to create songs that are sultry, aggressive, kitschy and high-brow all at the same time. And, like the show, there is an unpredictable depth to even the most restrained aspects of the songs. Understated key changes subtly drift in and out, and ominous synth drones slyly alter the landscape with their unsettled, hovering tones. These chimerical movements often occur without the listener even being cognizant of the snaking, unstable backdrops slyly shifting, letting the LP unravel in an unconscious, organic way. Whether you have this LP with a "damn good cup of coffee" and a slice of pie from the RR Diner, or a late-night whiskey on your couch, this is an ageless masterpiece that never grows old!

  2. Arab Strap - The Red Thread

    Arab Strap made a career out of interpreting life's melancholy misfortunes into uncomfortably honest confessionals, and "The Red Thread" is the ultimate statement by the band. Aidan Moffet's brilliant Bukowski-esque self-loathing is always tinged by a sense of smug resignation. On the "Red Thread" he readily concedes to indiscretions and anxieties most of us would be ashamed to be so proud of. On the highly recommended proceeding 2 Arab Strap LP's, "Philophobia," and "Elephant Shoe," Moffet's lyrics disclose a fleeting, yet conscience dishonor while reflecting on his bar-light betrayals, infamously impressive drinking, and the base nastiness of his Hobbesian existence. But on "The Red Thread" there rises up a sense of existentially stoic pride in Moffet's sordid tales. It's not arrogance per se, but a sense of acceptance of one's base instincts, admitting that one is not necessarily "good," and then brashly displaying it for all to see. This is all set to the spidery, Slint-influenced guitar genius of Malcolm Middleton and the glitchy, cheap-as-shit dance beats that work so well in this band's dark cauldron of endless alcohol, desperate beauty, deceit, and fuck-everyone mentality.

  3. Archers Of Loaf - Icky Mettle

    An album that starts with what may be THE ultimate indie rock anthem, "Web In Front," is almost doomed to fail after such a tremendous opening, but, "Icky Mettle," never falters, and in the course of this LP's 13 songs the band would define the indie rock genre for the next 25 years to follow. As the band progressed, the songwriting became less linear, and developed into a more arcane version of the indie rock beast they were on this LP. Not to say that other LP's are not brilliant LP's, but the band would never recreate the jump-around-my-room-with-headphone on pop genius of songs like "Backwash," or the quirky catchiness of, "Wrong," or the cleansing break in the spectacular "You And Me." There is a focused abandonment to the LP as the band lets themselves unwind in energetic indie-noise, while still retaining the verse / chorus / verse familiarity of classic indie music. By utilizing catchy, boisterous guitar interplay, biting lyrical motifs, loud / quiet dynamics, and top-notch songwriting, "Icky Mettle" has not only stood the test of time, it's continuing to re-define the future.

  4. Bad Religion - Suffer

    Punk rock in 1988 was in an unusual place with geographically splintered scenes and conflictive politics (a microcosm of that macrocosm was the rather large divide between the west coast, San Francisco based, Maximum Rock n' Roll set, and the East Coast, DC based, Dischord set). The original greats were gone, and in the pre-ironic days of 1988 there was no savior on the horizon, until Los Angeles's Bad Religion returned from a minor hiatus and dropped, "Suffer," onto the world, literally restating the punk rock credo of "loud, fast rules," in 26 minutes of melodic yet unrelenting punk rock ferocity. Bad Religion employs an incendiary arsenal of catchy hooks, thoughtful political lyrics, and surprisingly complex harmonies to not only restate the punk rock credo, but it on this take-no-prisoners blitz of an LP to make it, "loud, fast, smart rules"! This is an unyielding assault of spitfire punk rock anthems that never lets up throughout the LP's blazing attack, and the best LP of what was to be the first of 3 back to back to back brilliant Bad Religion LP's (with "No Control" not making this list by a hair)!

  5. Belle And Sebastian* - If You're Feeling Sinister

    The real genius of this stunning sophomore LP from B&S is that; underneath the ostensibly wistful songwriting, hovering surreptitiously under the surface of the gentle Smiths-by-way-of-The-Go-Betweens guitar jangles, beneath the coy Henry James-reading, bicycle-riding, love-lost surface of the LP's magnificent brook and babble, are self-deprecating and sometimes snarky-yet-playful life observations wrapped in depth and beauty of language hardly ever seen. All put together, it makes this LP a triumph on so many levels that its justifiably revered stature has rarely been reached since! The band seldom recaptured the heights and precocious charm displayed on these delicately devious pop songs, and never captured them on a whole LP again (worth noting that "This Is A Modern Rock Song" is their best song, and a classic in its own right), but, for this brief instant they were everything indie-pop music had promised to be, but had never managed to attain.

  6. Black Flag - The First Four Years

    Though "Damage" will undoubtedly reign for the masses as the ultimate Black Flag LP (and, it is a deservedly lauded LP!), for me it is this concentrated maelstrom of early Black Flag tracks that not only captures the band at its tempestuous best, but, is really the greatest snapshot of 2nd wave punk rock ever recorded. Collecting 4 EP's and 2 compilation tracks, this 1984 release is the the most volatile collection of L.A. punk rock ever released. Showcasing a few different line-ups, this 30 minute compilation became the prototype for 30 years of punk rock to follow. But none would ever match the ferocity, the sincerity, or the end-of-the-line desperation demonstrated on tracks like the white-knuckle, "Nervous Breakdown," or the defensive, alarming anger of "Revenge." The Rollins years were great, and I even like some of Greg Ginn's mid 80's sludgy dirges, but the early unrestrained, violent, erratic Black Flag is the one I have always identified best with!

  7. Bonnie 'Prince' Billy* - I See A Darkness

    Will Oldham has worn so many masks over the years, under such a myriad of monikers, that it can be daunting, if not impossible, to sift through his massive body of work. Within that lengthy anthology, it is the windswept, antiquated folk of "I See A Darkness" that stands out from his collected recordings. It is an LP that is a never-ending source of private joy in its deep, dark melancholy. Minimal songwriting is sustained by 19th century gothic Americana, dust-bowl-folk-ballads, narcotic piano stumbles, whispered transgressions and rueful longings. The LP is strangely alluring and heartfelt while being so sparse and dark, and is tailor-made for low-lights and whiskey-induced-reflections. And, at the risk of sounding like "that guy," this is really an LP that sounds so much better on vinyl. The unintended atmosphere vinyl adds is welcome anytime, but here it assists Oldham in shaping a world insensitive to era or time, a bizarre, sepia-colored world somewhere between Faulkner's decaying south and Oldham's decaying south. Along with the collection, "Lost Songs and Other Blues," this is must-have Will Oldham material.

  8. Boys Life - Boys Life

    This is one of those LP's that for me changed everything, and is still changing things. Part of the first-wave of mid 90's Midwest emo (they were on Crank! Records) Boy's Life were not trafficking in the beauty of Christie Front Drive, or the sad, cathartic guitar eruptions of Mineral, but instead looked to the aesthetic zeal of Drive Like Jehu's unique time signatures and creative tuning to create an LP far more harrowing than any of their emo colleagues other than Indian Summer. The musicianship here is unmatched by their contemporaries, with stop-on-a-dime time changes, unorthodox, sometimes inharmonious melodies. In many ways this LP is not only the greatest emo record ever made, it's also one of the greatest math-rock records ever made! The LP is an unnerving exploration into terse guitar interplay and anxious loud / quiet dynamics that certainly fits the template of the mid 90's emo genre, but thoughtfully bends it into a noisy, crashing, manic-depressive masterwork! This is not a, "I-have-a-crush-on-a-girl-emo," this is, "the-girl-is-gone-I'm-drinking-alone-for-two," emo, which resonates for me with a deeper sincerity than the overtly heart-on-sleeve variety employed by many bands during the mid 90's emo epidemic. The follow up LP, "Departures and Landfalls," is also highly recommended, (as is Brandon Butler's post Boy's Life band, the unappreciated emo band, The Farewell Bend, and even more recommended is Brandon Butler's post, The Farewell Bend band, Canyon, who's 2nd LP, "Empty Rooms," is a; what-the-fuck!-left field-shoegaze-meets-Syd-Barret-meets-Midwest-Americana-masterpiece).

  9. Built To Spill - Perfect From Now On

    BTS could have stopped playing music after the timelessly endearing indie pop genius of "There Is Nothing Wrong With Love," and would have gone down in history as one of the greatest indie rock bands of all-time. But, instead of that, Doug Martsch and crew re-invented themselves on this, their major label debut, by replacing the open-book vignettes of previous works, with sprawling, guitar-god influenced indie rock epics that upped the ante on every level, not only for the band, but for all guitar-driven indie rock music. The band moves from 3 minute pop anthems to ambitious, lush 8 minute indie rock sagas. The Multi-textured song arrangements have and an almost orchestral feel to the LP that give it a grandiose feeling that is smartly matched by the LP's long build-ups, deft production and crashing walls of welcome catharsis. Equally refreshing was the switch to much more introspective, and sometimes bitter lyrical motifs, in contrast to the charming, but slightly cloying lyrics of the previous LP. BTS have release 4 great LP's since this 1997 LP. They continue to grow their sound into a larger, more all-encompassing library of work, but it is the experimental, pop-tinted, guitar epics of, "Perfect From Now On" that is the band's finest moment.

  10. Burzum - Filosofem

    Personal opinions of Varg aside, the first 3 Burzum LP's are all essential black metal LP's and tremendous works of fiendish genius, but, it is the fourth LP, "Filosofem," that finds Varg finding the perfect balance of the earlier, more raw work, and the ethereal atmospherics of his under-appreciated later work. This LP is a seamless tapestry of drone, minimalism, lo-fi black metal and sepulchral vocal laments all woven into a cohesive sounding LP that is oddly both extremely alienating whilst simultaneously reassuring and almost inviting...in some kind of deranged, misanthropic way. The 12th-rate production is the ideal way to capture the dead-world decay of the songs seemingly simple structures, adding layers of exposed and grim instrumentation to the LP's treeless landscape. A primal hum runs throughout the LP, reinforcing the cold guitar buzz and the nightmarish quality of the keyboards. Every component of this LP works to create as a whole, one of the (if not THE) greatest albums of hopeless darkness, depression and black atmosphere ever recorded!

  11. Codeine - The White Birch

    Along with Low, The Red House Painters, American Music Club and Idaho, Codeine invented an entire sub-genre of music uninspiringly called slowcore. And, along with their contemporaries, Codeine certainly plied a brand of indie rock that was lonely, molasses-slow, wintry, depressive and uniquely pretty, but, unlike those contemporaries, Codeine was a much heavier beast. Foregoing much of the beauty and atmosphere of Low and Idaho respectively, for more of a down-tuned sludge, that, at times could be a Melvin's record on 8 RPM's, and borrows as much from Flipper as it does from the eclectic 1994 indie rock world it inhabited. Most folks choose the slightly more "accessible" 1st Codeine LP, "Frigid Stars" over this one, but, "The White Birch" is a stunning, crushing, defeating LP that meshes an atonal guitar crunch, empty space that hangs heavy as lead, and a feeling of almost stoic resignation in the face of life's sometimes overwhelming sadness that all culminates in an LP that is somewhat (un)humorously, a tour-de-force of ennui.

  12. ColdWorld - Melancholie²

    A newer release on this list, and one of the only contemporary black metal LP's to earn and retain its 5 rating. To be classic, there needs to be some time to put things into proper context, and this 2008 release, in hindsight of the Deafheaven / post-shoegaze black metal scene, was a harbinger of all that was to come. While the aforementioned contemporary scene is a white-washed pastiche of various genres (almost haphazardly stapled together sometimes), "Melancholia" brilliantly utilizes ethereal atmospherics and brooding post-Xasthur synth to flesh out a more narrative, identifiable form of black metal. The post-rock influence and post-gaze aesthetics are there, but so is an effortlessly encompassing diversity of genres, including black metal touchstones like Burzum. The lo-fi production contributes to the snow-clad environment of the LP's dismal, barren vision. If ever there was a black metal record that unpretentiously and truthfully weeps the feeling of funereal melancholy, this LP wears that mourning veil of loneliness and loss with an unholy and forebodingly spectacular beauty.

  13. Darkthrone - Transilvanian Hunger

    One could really choose any of the first 3 Darkthrone LP's (post "Soulside Journey") as classic and receive no argument from me. But "Transylvanian Hunger" is the band's best work, and as a template for the last quarter century of extreme music, it's amazing how no other band since has ever managed to re-create an album that, on the surface, is fairly straight-forward and relatively primal and rudimentary. But, closer inspection shows an extremely layered and harrowing LP that manages to somehow embody the very heart of the black metal aesthetic. The production is like someone pressed record on an old hand-held Fisher-Price tape recorder and then buried it in the mud to record the band in the next room. This wonderfully distressing LP is a claustrophobic shipwreck of jagged, buzzing guitars, dark primordial drumming, and marked by a hammering, hypnotic use of creaking, clanging song structures along with ghastly, spectral, screaming. Amazing!

  14. Earth (2) - Hex; Or Printing In The Infernal Method

    Earth can be rightfully credited with spawning a whole genre of amplifier worshiping drone bands (none more influential than the outstanding Sunn and their abundant contemporaries). This is largely due to the first 3 Earth LP's, where low-end drones ruled the roost and there was enough time to make eggs-and-toast in-between chord changes. But it is the band's 2005 LP, "Hex: Printing in the Infernal Method," that cemented them as not only as the preeminent masters of drone, but downright altered the perception of what "heavy," was, and is. The ambitious LP is an amalgamation of a reverberating Spaghetti western dooooooom drone and spacious acoustic passages. Earth takes their previous capacity for drawn-out single notes and incorporates these almost pretty apocalyptic desert drones into their songwriting, opening the sound into formerly unexplored voids. If prior records personified a more monomaniacal desire to suffocate the listener in almost motionless drone, this LP expresses a sense of open-air surrender as it yields to a vastly larger expanse of sounds, that is maybe the best headphone LP ever made!

  15. Elliott Smith - Either / Or

    The tortured singer / songwriter is a musical stock character in a larger-than-life film that can be traced from Mozart, to Robert Johnson, to Patsy Cline, and one that can unwittingly becomes the spokesman for every broken-hearted, hard-living 25 year old. Elliott Smith's incredible career can be seen as the script to that film, both personally and musically. Though there isn't a dud in his thrilling body of work, this LP is almost flawless from start to finish. 'Either / Or' straddles the line between the home-recordings of his earlier work, and the baroque studio work of his later output. Songs like, "Rose Parade" and "Between The Bars" show why he is rightfully considered one of the best lyricists ever, and his unique Nick Drake-isms on guitar never sounded as genuine and softly tragic as they do on this enduring LP.

  16. Empire! Empire! (I Was A Lonely Estate) - What It Takes To Move Forward

    Emo as a genre can be guilty of a garden-variety of whining self-indulgences, and trite paint-by-numbers bands that owe more to third rate horse-shit alterna-rock than they do to Portraits of Past or Sunny Day Real Estate. But, emo can also be the refuge for brilliant artists in need of emotional catharsis. Bands like Mineral, SDRE, Benton Falls, Knapsack, etc, all were able to create enduring emo that was uniquely their own sound, while building upon the emotional-hardcore of the 10 years previous. Empire has done the same thing, but with an additional ten years of hindsight to work with. The band creates one of the best emo LP's ever made as it brilliantly incorporates the mid 90's Crank! Records sound, with chiming post rock crescendos, genuine, emotionally affecting lyrics, and beautifully sad, sad, sad, songs. This band helped usher in a new wave of emo bands, and, frankly, I kind of wish they hadn't, as there are not many good ones, but, if in 10 years time even one band can build upon what Empire so successfully built on, and once again re-invent the genre, this LP will be revered for the landmark LP it is!

  17. Explosions In The Sky - Those Who Tell The Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell The Truth Shall Live Forever

    As a post rock band, Explosions In The Sky have really followed a fairly recognizable formula, not deviating far from the path laid down by previous bands like Mogwai, Godspeed and Mono. But, there is something so singular about Explosions in the Sky, something that, as good as the aforementioned bands are, makes them seem more personal, somehow they seem even more authentic than the original. Explosions in the Sky manage to take the finest aspects of the entire genre and decorate it with their own flourishes of marching band drumming, warm arpeggios, and patient build ups that cede to purifying releases. "Have You Passed Through This Night" is a blueprint for post-rock, and it is here where the striking guitar interchange, the heartfelt ethereal aesthetic, the layering and texturing all coalesce in a stunning song that encapsulates the band's, and the LP's, ageless strength.

  18. Grouper - Dragging A Dead Deer Up A Hill

    The newest release on this list, and probably my favorite LP of the last few years. Liz Harris began by making wonderfully gloomy, grey, gossamer drones on the first 2 Grouper LP's, and though those saturated, sedative tones are still evident on this LP, a gothic world-weariness has also arrived in the form of her playing the funereal folk singer on this LP. The songs have a glazed, motion-sick blurriness to them, and with Liz Harris's woozy warble the songs are comparable to old faded photographs slowly bleeding into sepia tones. A compelling melancholy and a troubling falling-apart-at-the-seams feel to the LP only helps to craft an emotional world of gauzy drones and lilting loss in what, if there is justice in this world, will be esteemed as a landmark LP of our times!

  19. Guns N' Roses - Appetite For Destruction

    As this list makes apparent, I don't venture too often into the arena-rock spectrum of music. It's not because I have anything fundamentally against it, but, the truth is that most of it was, and is, total pabulum. 'Appetite for Destruction' is no glam-band fluff, but, along with Iggy & The Stooges, "Raw Power" is the most genuinely dangerous LP ever made. The L.A. scene that bred this notorious band was an infamous cesspool of vice and unchecked hedonism. This LP manages to symbolize all of that, heats it up on a spoon, and then mainlines it, adding mid 70's Aerosmith riffs, punk rock, the Rolling Stones and a bit of The New York Dolls to make an almost flawless LP ("Anything Goes" is just ok) of unaffectedly gritty rock n' roll with 5 musicians all at the top of their game. And, after 25,000 listens, I still think this LP rocks, and I still sing along to the verses of "Paradise City" without really knowing the lyrics.

  20. Hot Snakes - Suicide Invoice

    Considering that the Hot Snakes are a band with members who played in such remarkable and influential outfits as; Rocket From The Crypt, Drive Like Jehu, The Night Marchers, The Sultans, Pitchfork and The Obits, it's even more impressive that this "side project" band ending up being my favorite of the bunch. All 3 of their LP's are essential, but "Suicide Invoice" is a sneering, revved up, garage punk rock LP that is heavily indebted to the Northwest's great, The Wipers. But, unlike Greg Sage and The Wipers, Hot Snakes keep their feet firmly planted in 3 minute angular garage rock that is equally influenced by post-punk (Wire), punk rock (The Wipers), noise rock (Drive Like Jehu) and pre-punk (The Sonics) Every song is vitriolic barn-burner with searing guitar zip and, rolling drum beats, and screamed / sang invectives colored with a certain sense of San Diego irony. A punk rock masterpiece and a highly undervalued LP!

  21. Jawbreaker - Dear You

    All 4 of Jawbreaker's LP's were indisputably Jawbreaker LP's, but all 4 were also singular in their execution, bearing little resemblance production-wise to each other, shifting the lyrical focuses and altering the songwriting formula that would take the band from the 1989 pop punk abandon of Unfun's, "Busy," to the menacing epic of 1995's, "Basilica," on Dear You. Jawbreaker will always be tied to Blake Schwarzenbach's absolutely brilliant diary-entry, post-modern lyrics, and if the first 3 records dealt with Blake's incisive observations on various themes from; politics, to throat surgery, to selling out, to relationships, to punk rock, etc, "Dear You" is a personally fixated lyrical LP that is a liberating acerbic testament to; hurt, bitterness and resigning oneself to one's luckless fate. For a writer who may be the best in punk rock history, songs like "Accident Prone," and the jaw-dropping, "Sluttering May 4th" are lyrical masterpieces that should be coveted by every poet-in-the-night-in-waiting who starts a band. The songs are big and crunchy, with colossal catchy hooks, and though it's over-produced, it doesn't detract from the power of the songs as the LP moves fluidly through pop nuggets like the memorable "Oyster," the heart-on-sleeve charm of "Unlisted Track," and cheerless masterworks like "Jet Black" and "Basilica." Chris Bauermeister and Adam Phaler rarely get the credit due to them, but they shine throughout the band's career, and on this LP the musicianship is tight, edgy and unfortunately, the death knell of the best punk band of the last 25 years!

  22. Jawbreaker - 24 Hour Revenge Therapy

    This Steve Albini produced Jawbreaker LP is about as close to perfect as a punk rock record can come. A surprisingly diverse group of songs that showcases a band at their creative peak. It's an LP that almost effortlessly defined a generation, and forever altered the musical landscape it inhabited. Every single song has been my favorite song on the LP at one point, and, besides the Smiths, I cannot say that for any other band or record. From the epic and haunting "Ache," to the tongue-in-cheek snark of "Boxcar," to the inspiring awe of "Do You Still Hate Me," 24 Hour Revenge Therapy has been a staple of my existence for many years, and it is a rare album, not unlike the greats of all time (I'm talking Rolling Stones, Leonard Cohen, Replacements style great) that refuses to be pigeonholed into a timeframe, and as I age, the lyrics and the music seem to age with me, continually re-defining themselves within the mercurial context of my life. "In Sadding Around" means something very different for me now than when I first heard the song, but what's remarkable, is that though the meaning has changed, the impact has remained just as strong as it ever was, which is true for this entire glorious LP. In my top 5 of all time!

  23. Jesu - Jesu

    On ensuing releases Jesu would develop its sound to produce songs equally indebted to bands like The Red House Painters and Low as it is to Godlfesh and Neurosis. But, on this debut Jesu LP, Justin Broderick created something wholly unique, though hazily identifiable. This LP is a dazing juxtaposition of slow, labored, heavy, doomy, disheartened and ghostly sludgy dirges, and these hazy, dreamy, comforting, droning atmospheric, minor key requiems, which, is rounded off by a further contrast between down-tuned, low-end, glacial guitar crunches, and warm, thick, shimmering electronics. The LP as a whole nods to the My Bloody Valentine / Red House Painters influence to follow, but here the metallic edge of metal is still clearly evident in its dissonant Isis-esque, filmy, industrial-tinged metal-gaze-something Aquarius records called, dream-sludge, which, I think is awfully apt. The songs are dense, threatening and unnerving, but, they are also engaging, reassuring and serene in all of their world-weary contrasts.

  24. Joy Division - Unknown Pleasures

    My all-time favorite LP, and one that I believe persists as a worthy symbol of indie rock's expressive power and its capacity to impact lives. The jagged, icy atmosphere of this LP had zero predecessor, and, in fact Warsaw (Joy Division's original name) was a great post-punk LP in its own right, but even it didn't prepare the world for this LP. What makes Joy Division so exceptional, is that they manage to convey such an unparalleled gravity of sincerity and emotion into their exposed songwriting. Stripping down everything in the post-punk cannon to its purest base core, the sparse, almost clinically unadorned textures of the LP leaves absolutely no room for artistic or lyrical laziness, and, there is absolutely none. The songwriting, the lyrical explorations, the menacing melancholy, the bass-driven woe, and post-punk guitar work have never been equaled in music. Knowing the Ian Curtis / Peter Hook / Joy Division story only adds to the lore of the LP, and its truly amazing that 35 years later, this album is still challenging, still wholly unique and still sounds innovative and inspiring.

  25. Joy Division - Closer

    Joy Division's 2nd LP sees the band preserve the cold post-punk severity of the 1st LP, but on Closer a heavier sense of foreboding, an almost overwhelming sorrow saturates the LP, while simultaneously integrating aspects of Wire style post-punk gloom-and-doom. The songs can be catchy, punchy and narrative at times, but, underneath is always the shadowy existential desperation of Ian Curtis's moving lyrics and the bands adherence to dim atmospherics. The scratchy guitar and the austerity of the LP's assembly exposes the listener to a stark LP full of uncomfortable candor that hides behind nothing. The album is nearly faultless, but, it is the final 2 songs that have impacted me the most. The plodding, alarming discomfort of "The Eternal" is a manic-depressive masterwork and one of the most affecting songs ever recorded. This is followed by "Decades," which, with its atonal keys and textured build-up is the album's most thrilling moment, where one can see the past (Warsaw), meet the future (New Order), at a crossroads, that regrettably due to Ian Curtis's suicide, would never be crossed.