Joy Division

Atrocity Exhibition

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Can may not seem like the immediate role model for Joy Division in ways, but there's a definite sense of the murky, African-inspired rhythms of that group in the Closer-starting "Atrocity Exhibition," one of the least likely opening songs from any album (even if the core chorus from Ian Curtis is "This is the way, step inside"). Stephen Morris's drumming has more than a little off-kilter pound and swing to things, while instead of the dramatic foregrounding of those beats he so often does, Martin Hannett pushes them a bit back in the mix, strong but a bit subordinate. Instead it's the weird clatter, swirl, and scrape of Bernard Sumner's guitar and Peter Hook's calm, steady bass that take center stage, the unnerving and distinctly off chaos of the former playing against the straightforward flow of the latter. Curtis sounds intentionally strained, a good take shot through with a nervous, moaning edge that makes the unsettling mix all the more of a curious, even unnatural display.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Closer 1980 London 6:06
Heart and Soul 1998 Rhino / Warner Bros. 6:05
No Image Punk Vault