Their first album for thirty years. Post-punk influencers The Psychedelic Furs return with the obligatory same but different offering. It’s very good.
Release Date: 31st July 2020
Label: Cooking Vinyl
Formats: CD / DL / vinyl / cassette
Critically acclaimed albums, classic singles, the split, the reformation. Standard fare for a band who’ve been in the game in some form since the end of the Seventies.
Following the 2000 return, they’ve remained an actively working live unit, which is one thing. New music is another and pressing play or dropping the needle on some new Psychedelic Furs brings a combination of trepidation and delight.
It all starts with a dense thumping ambience and Richard Butler offloading a monologue that involves flights of crows, insect hearts and druggy days of pointless pain. Declaring that he’s the boy that invented rock and roll on the opening track of the same title, it’s an invigorating call to arms amidst a thundering soundtrack.
Eleven more tracks are packed with punchy post-punk psychedelia or whatever label you want to attach to the contents. Sure they’re not about being categorised, suffice to say that Made Of Rain is rather, maybe surprisingly, bold and grand.
The tribal You’ll Be Mine is an early highlight. “Don’t be surprised when all your dreams all fade away / all the traffic runs to rust / all your days are yesterdays.” A hymnal ode to the passage of time and a vocal that’s vaguely disconnected and neutral and the sweeps of synth and jarring guitar lines might hold tenuous links with ‘the past’. Stirring stuff.
Whether or not it’s bettered is up for debate but with Wrong Train the first side of what might be your vinyl copy is as strong as anything you’ll hear in 2020 and fears are allayed.
A Hawley-like lushness and a general air of opulence and majesty – This’ll Never Be Like Love, the musical box of Tiny Hands and Turn Your Back On Me – ensure the second half leads down some cooler paths. However, the presence of Mars Williams sax contributing to some of the most significant musical moments on the record.
Yes, there’s ebullient talk of a return to form and a chance to put on pause the thought that they’d left Pretty In Pink as the apex of their legacy. Regardless of who, what, when, where, why, Made Of Rain is a classy album. Those who’d lost touch, in particular, will salivate and anyone lurking on the fringes will wonder where this has come from.
The line that every dog has it’s day suddenly resurfaces. The Furs are having another. Second wind maybe? The Butler boys and their band have delivered a worthy swan song. The Royal Albert Hall is calling.
Listen to Come All Ye Faithful here: