Various Artists

A Means to an End: The Music of Joy Division

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The key to a successful tribute album is not only to have a brilliant band to pay tribute to, but a selection of unique bands playing the covers. A Means to an End is a beautiful selection of the songs of Joy Division, arguably one of the most important bands of the 20th century, played by some of the musicians they inspired. From the characteristically angular Girls Against Boys hardcore version of "She's Lost Control" to the mind-blowing slowcore covers by Low ("Transmission" taken to a light-permeable crawl) and Codeine ("Atmosphere," a fitting choice), it is clear that these are people whose very being was altered by Joy Division. Other highlights include a heavy guitar-laden "New Dawn Fades" with Moby sounding a lot like Ian Curtis; underrated space rockers Further (who went on to form the Tyde and Beachwood Sparks and to get some deserved attention) doing "Insight"; a noisy, neurotic, ripping "They Walked In Line" by GodheadSilo, and a shockingly upbeat version of "Interzone" by hardcore punk rockers Face to Face. The album ends with the art rock of Tortoise drawing Joy Division to their logical extreme by pulling "As You Said" into a broad, atmospheric, repetitive, spacious groove.

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