Siouxsie and the Banshees made some wonderful albums in their time, such as Tinderbox, Hyaena, and Juju. Join Hands is unfortunately not one of them. The songs on this early release are almost uniformly grim, with dragging tempos, bleak lyrics, long and wandering free-form structures, static and often unfocused harmony, and thick, colorless arrangements. Siouxsie Sioux is not in her best vocal form here; much of her singing lacks punch and fire. The best selection here is "Icons," which survives an unpromising beginning to open out into a faster main section with fuller vocal sound and gutsier guitar work. The notorious number "The Lords Prayer" is a major punk landmark, featuring stream-of-consciousness lyrics that digress in every imaginable direction from the basic devotional text; regrettably, the song isn't very interesting to listen to despite its energetic instrumental playing. Another failed experiment is essayed in "Mother/Oh Mein Papa"; Sioux sings a lopsided melodic line out of sync with a music box playing the latter song of this pairing. Some of these selections appear to strongly anticipate the work of Joy Division's second album, Closer, especially "Placebo Effect," whose guitar sound was a clear inspiration for that of the Manchester band's song "Colony." Sound quality here is drab and squelched. Despite the group's laudable attempts to take some risks, it's difficult to recommend Join Hands.
AllMusic Review by David Cleary