Siouxsie and the Banshees


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Hyæna Review

by Stephen Cook

Broadening the eclectically experimental landscape of 1982's Kiss in the Dream House with the occasional string arrangement and a spacious sound mix, Siouxsie and the Banshees' Geffen debut nicely bridges the gap between the band's handful of more-punk-than-pop early releases and their run of new wave, radio-friendly hits from the late '80s and early '90s. And though echoes of classic albums like Kaleidoscope and JuJu are heard in dark and menacing tracks such as "Bring Me the Head of the Preacher Man" and "Blow Your House Down," the emphasis here is on layered arrangements and pop tunes disguised as art-house production numbers ("Dazzle"); tasteful horn and keyboard parts expand the group's guitar-dominated sound and provide Siouxsie with an airy and dreamlike backdrop in which to fully display her considerable vocal talents. Siouxsie further refines things by also including a generous share of fleet and gothic-tinged pop numbers like "Belladonna," "Running Town," and the band's hit cover of "Dear Prudence." Anchored by the signature sound of Steven Severin's guitar-like bass and Budgie's exotically adept percussion work, Hyaena qualifies as one of Siouxsie and the Banshees' finest moments.

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