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The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
PETER MURPHY LION REVIEW 2014

 

PETER MURPHY - LION

NETTWERK RECORDS

JUNE 2 2014

 

 

‘Hang Up’ heralds in what could well be one of Peter Murphy’s best albums; it’s as simple as that. On ‘Lion’ you get the immediate feeling that Murphy is again ready to embrace his Goth roots (the reason matters not) and deliver what presumably most long-time fans want.

 

For those that have followed Murphy’s career over the years and seen all the ups and downs and dabblings – this album really picks up the template seemingly laid down by Bauhaus final ‘Go Away White’ (wow is it already six years ago we got that final statement!) and runs out of the room with it. Lion you see is Goth, it has elements of rock, or punk, or electronic music, even industrial and dance elements. In short it’s like Bauhaus reimagined for 2014.

 

10 solo studio albums into his career Murphy has also brought ‘Youth’ on board as producer to create this one in the studio. What you get is a bit of everything, but all done with attitude: from the dramatic stadium filling energy of ‘Hang Up’ through the electronic dark dance beats of ‘I Am My Own Name’ and the tight Industrial Bowiesque stomp of ‘Low Tar Stars’.

 

Lion is a great mix of what made Murphy and Bauhaus so essential and whilst we may only find hints of his former bands dark mantle we do find an invigorated and contrasting sides to Murphy here.  We get everything on Lion from epics to hardcore heavier works and lighter more atmospheric material like ‘I’m On Your Side’ which throbs with a faint neon glow.

 

Everywhere you turn Murphy’s soaring voice haunts you, perhaps no more so than on the slow-build and burn of the cavernous ‘Compression’. Taking things down in the mid-section there are some wonderful slower songs where Murphy’s vice really comes to the fore: The wash of atmospheric ‘Holy Clown’ leads into ‘The Rose’ which is perhaps the best example, it’s a stunning song and sure to win even the most fickle fan over, full of all the promise of those first couple of albums.

 

‘The Ghost of Shokan Lake’ has a mournful quality which offsets the rich and powerful ‘Eliza’ which is perhaps the most evocative song here of those early days built on a strong groove and meandering melody. It’s one of our favourites here and almost ‘Sisters of Mercy’ in intensity.

 

Throughout Lion Murphy sounds far more energised than in recent years, there seems to be a palpable hunger, and such power. The album closes with the delicate dark ballad ‘Loctaine’ and title track ‘Lion’ which simmers and boils.

 

Peter Murphy is back to his dark and brooding best.

 

 

by Mark Diggins

 

PETER MURPHY LION REVIEW 2014