Review Summary: It gets even better with age.
Siouxsie and the Banshees have a lot of to be proud of. Their influence on the Post-Punk genre is only one factor. Perhaps another is the consistency of excellent albums. This band has a good track record when it comes to releasing consistent efforts. It all brings us to talking about Tinderbox
. Released in 1986, it remains arguably, one of the most important templates you could list for the Post-Punk genre.
Siouxsie Sioux - vocals, piano, whistle
Steven Severin - electric bass, keyboards, piano, drumbox, emulator
Budgie - drums and percussion
John Valentine Carruthers - guitars, keyboards, waterphone
Produced by Siouxsie and the Banshees
Tinderbox is an enigma. From the first track, Candyman
, you can tell this is different from past efforts. There is nothing such as a complete change in style or anything of the sort that makes Tinderbox
different. The Banshees seem to be more involved on this record. Albums in the past, such as Juju
, Sioux's bandmates contributed to the albums, but it seems like she overshadowed their presence. Tinderbox
has a different approach in that respect. Every member has an equal portion to the success for this, as the tracks demonstrate. Cities in Dust
displays this remarkably well. The patient and well timed drumming along with a hint of keyboards, steady and textured guitar and well toned vocals make it feel and sound like a complete group effort.
Speaking of a good feel for Tinderbox, Natural summarizes that best. This is a very true fact. Siouxsie and the Banshees sound like they were very comfortable with the sound and their abilities. Cannons
displays that , the band sounds very consistent and confident. They don't have any heavy signs of overplaying or underplaying sections, rather than just sounding like they enjoy performing. 92 Degrees
is also a great example. The simple yet effective snare rolls at the beginning, with a well-textured guitar riff build to Sioux's vocals. Tracks like this highlight the group effort, as Sioux builds off the energy of her bandmates and blends in rather than feeling slightly separate. Perhaps the production helps as well.
The band seems to have a good knack for production. The balance between vocals and instrumentals is a very important aspect to look at when you produce and mix. Too under-balanced, things sound underplayed, and too over-balanced, you have the "Noise-war" effect. Siouxsie and the Banshees do not fall into either of the two. The album's sound gives the listener a good balance between all sounds. It seems like the band found a nice sweet spot for a well-balnced sound and applied that well when fine-tuning their recordings. The Final track, Land's End
, perhaps is one of the album's best examples of sound balance. All of this helps with the consistency of the album. Every song is in the right spot and they blend together well. The listener will not find himself confused by a complete tempo change or anything that feels like a re-hash from a previous track.
has proved its worth within the Post-Rock genre time and time again. There are many reasons that make this album great. Perhaps this review is only pointing out a few things as to why. So why is this not a five? To be honest, the only thing this reviewer even slightly disliked was some parts of Candyman
. There is no valid explanation as to why, but perhaps it just has that feeling of being extremely close, but just slightly off a five. With that cleared up, in the end this is still a superb listen. It is like a fine-wine in a way it gets better with Age. Nearly twenty-seven years later, Tinderbox
still has yet to lose its edge.
Cities in Dust
The Sweetest Chill