There's good news for those of you out there who like to wallow in the guitar driven goth bands of the 1980s. I myself love what the Sisters of Mercy and the Fields of The Nephilim did during the late 80s and early to mid-90s and I sometimes take those dear old CD's out of the closet to give them a spin, but there hasn't been much going there since then, has there? The Mission is one of those bands I completely missed back then, even if they were formed by two former Sisters members, Wayne Hussey and Craig Adams. Dunno why, but that's just the way it is.
This is apparently the first release from The Mission in six years, and it's in a reunited
constellation, apart from drummer Mick Brown who's been replaced by Mike Kelly from Spear of Destiny. At least this should vouch for some authenticity.
When it comes to the sound, it certainly does. The sound is raw and stripped down. The guitar sound really captures the essence of the sound of goth guitar rock in the UK during the 80s, that much you have to hand The Mission. After all, retro sounds are extremely popular, and I'm sure that many will be nodding their heads in appreciation of the very
The sound and feel is in a way cool, but when that has been said, the songs aren't that interesting. In fact, most of the material borders on being boring. Perhaps not the best strategy to place as the first song of the album the over-long Black Cat Bone which never really takes off and leaves you quite frustrated by the fact that a climax isn't reached. This, by the way, is symptomatic of most of the songs of 'The Brightest Light'. The best song for me is the title track. Most of all, it sounds like a Cure song, which, I suppose, is alright.
I realize voices are an acquired taste. Hussey, for me at least, has a tendency to sound almost theatrical, and to the point where it's out of place in some instances.
Now, the good thing about being in a car pool (I have about an hour's drive to work, car pooling makes good sense) is that you have the possibility of acid testing some of the music you're reviewing. Sometimes my two car pool buddies have no opinion whatsoever, other than it's shitty noise (black and death metal), but other times I can venture into asking them what they think. I tested The Mission on our new car pool buddy, Lise, a young woman of 30.
She endured the first CD of this two-CD package. She wasn't really that impressed, but she endured. Mind you, she's not as such interested in music and thinks that Volbeat is just the craziest and most brutal shit on the planet (!?) (I've been gentle with her until now - I will slowly introduce death metal...). So, I slipped in the second disc of the digipack version, a disc with a couple of bonus tracks and demo versions of some of the tunes from the album. Four songs into the second disc, Lise couldn't hold it back anymore. 'Can you turn off that wailer, please?' she exclaimed, and it came from the heart. And she was right. Hussey does sound like a wailer on those demo tracks - to the point where I feel no need to revisit these tracks ever again.
Anyway, if your musical taste is all about the Sisters, Fields of the Nephilim, The Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees and early Cult, then direct your wanting ears this way - you're likely to love 'The Brightest Light' to bits. I don't really, and neither does my car pool buddy Lise, but I reckon you figured that out by now.