Friday, 7 February 2014

Death in June - Oh, How We Laughed

'Oh, How We Laughed'
Death in June
1982

Review by Elek Malcolm-Madill

Genre/s: Post-Punk, Neofolk, Military Industrial
For Fans Of: Joy Division, Sol Invictus, Throbbing Gristle

Death in June are an old, but interesting band. Imagine a band that deeply follows the aesthetics of Joy Division's “Warsaw” only it has aspects of folk and industrial in it is well and you'll have a vague idea of what Death in June is like. Oh, How We Laughed is a live album- however it is absolutely excellent, easily one of the best live albums I've ever heard. Starting out strong with “Knives” you're assaulted with a sound bite from an old German propaganda film that distortedly barks for several seconds before transitioning into the actual track, which marches in with war drums and excellent, almost tangy strings backing it. Often a hotbed for controversy due to their use of symbols such as the Totenkopf skull (as seen on the album cover), the mind behind Death in June, Douglas Pearce, has had his performances protested by Antifa-esque groups for decades. Often refusing to explain his choice of symbology, it becomes unclear what his ideals behind them are- however it seems to me that due to Pearce being an openly gay man who grew up in a highly conservative environment, a main theme of his work is “what really is socially acceptable?” and while I'm not saying that Nazism is okay in any sense, his work seems to in essence ask the question: “why is it not okay to artisticly re-purpose symbols such as the Totenkopf and yet is is perfectly okay to hang an American flag in your home despite all the horrible things the country has done in it's own past?”. Anyway, just my opinion on the matter, there really is no racial or political ideology promoted in Death in June's music. However back to the actual music,the rest of the albums plays out very strangely with no two tracks being quite alike with some leaning towards harsh industrial noise, and others dipping into strange, almost dark electronica. I particularly recommend "Nothing Changes" and "Nirvana" if you're looking for a more classic post-punk sound, while songs such as "We Drive East" and "State Laughter" become a genre all their own. If any of the following genres appeal to you reading this then you show definitely check out “Oh, How We Laughed”


TRACKLISTING:
1. Knives
2. Nirvana
3. Heaven Street
4. Nothing Changes
5. Nation
6. Holy Water
7. State Laughter
8. In The Nighttime
9. We Drive East
10. How We Laughed

2 comments:

  1. check out a site called 'who makes the nazis?' for more info on DIJ

    ReplyDelete
  2. that website is shit, good gentleman

    ReplyDelete