eMusic Review 0
The first song on Joy Division's justifiably classic (and utterly perfect) debut takes all the passion, fury, rage and nihilism of "Anarchy in the UK," and spikes it with a healthy fear of death. The band, which famously got its start after a sparsely attended — and, therefore, legendary — Buzzcocks/Sex Pistols double bill at the Manchester Free Trade Hall started out violent and thrashing and became more ruthless and effective by becoming leaner. After a record's worth of material was hastily recorded for RCA and just as hastily scrapped, the group convened with eccentric producer Martin Hannett at Strawberry Studios to make one last attempt to save themselves from the dead-end of the Manchester working class. Unknown Pleasures not only accomplished that goal, but stands 30 years later as a work of stark, sepulchral beauty.
The album's most arresting attribute lies in Ian Curtis's ability to contain both searing anguish and paralyzing terror in the hollow sound of his holy, beautiful, chilling voice. The finale of that first song, "Disorder," is a terrific spasm of dread, Curtis howling, "I've got the spirit! But lose the feeling!" over and over as the band collapses in a grisly heap behind… read more »