In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “It didn’t make me necessarily want to hear more of The Cure immediately. But it did give me more of an understanding of and appreciation for the band.”
When I decided I wanted to review an album or two by The Cure, I knew I couldn’t just go choosing record willy nilly. These guys are one of the most original, unique, iconic and influential bands of a generation. With almost 40 years and 13 studio albums under their belt, even the biggest Cure detractors would have to admit that from the early 80s to the mid 90s, this band was at least an important part of music. So I didn’t take choosing these albums lightly, I didn’t half ass it, I didn’t fuck around. I went as far as to google, “Best Cure albums”. And I clicked on upwards of two of the search results before I decided to listen to Pornography.
Full blown electronic beats give way to the gothic guitars, swimming in reverb and ominous dread on One Hundred Years. This is such a quintessential Cure sound, that it sounds like Roberts Smith’s voice even before he sings a single note. Adding analogue drums, booming and driving their way through A Short Term Effect, there’s all of a sudden even more ominous dread, and it feels even closer.When some of that sonic darkness is pulled back on The Hanging Garden, it’s the Cure giving Pornography a great narrative of sound. The first two tracks work together to set the record in motion, while The Hanging Garden is here to propel things forward and show that it’s flanged guitars, throbbing bass and rolling drums can give Smith’s voice a whole new environment to play in, while still remaining in the same world set up by the opening pair of songs.
Siamese Twins and The Figurehead… While I think these two songs are perfectly fine, I could also see them being used by detractors of The Cure who want to claim that the band is all depressed moaning and boring, indulgent droning. But when it’s followed by Strange Day and you hear pretty much the exact same ingredients to make something inexplicably more compelling, it gets back to my theory about Pornography having a narrative. All of these songs sound like their part of a much bigger whole, and having light and shade, peaks and valleys, builds and lulls, is what a compelling narrative is all about.
And the closing pair of Cold and the title track are the perfect closing to that light and shade, those peaks and valleys. Pornography didn’t make me necessarily want to hear more of The Cure immediately. But it did give me more of an understanding of and appreciation for the band. If I was on a road trip and someone wanted to play a record or two from this band, I’d be cool with that. Or if some hard core fan wanted to tell me that these guys are one of the most original, unique, iconic and influential bands of a generation, I wouldn’t argue with them.