The Mission's first album proper is an enjoyable romp of distinctively 80s goth pop. It probably sounds so dated because there hasn't been a revival of this sound yet. Maybe it's time! Its backbone was the pairing of Simon Hinkler's Jimmy Page-like variety of hard riffs and spangly guitar noises, with Wayne Hussey's deep, hammy vocal style and gothly over-sensual lyrics. Mannerisms such as his way of pronouncing "me" as "mwehuay" are an acquired taste, but we could have done without some of the gimmicks, such as the silly monkey noises on "Bridges Burning", and Hussey's Tappish solo pronouncements like "god no longer believes in me".
Almost every track has a tune to take home. They can be dumbly repetitive, like the head-bashing waltz "Stay With Me", but powerful when they get it right, as on the focused rocker "Wasteland". Some distractions from their basic sound are welcome, like the string-laden "Garden of Delight" and their excursion into full-on metal, "Sacrilege". "Dance on Glass" builds an interestingly spiky song from an insistent synthetic beat. But a goth icon from Leeds shouldn't have got away with singing about dancing on "glarse"!
May 2, 2005