The Cure review – top goths tease their bleak but beautiful new album

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Electric daze of voluminously frazzled hair, baggily dressed successful what other but black, the Cure’s singer, songwriter and guitarist Robert Smith is 1 of those uncommon stone stars whom you tin recognise adjacent successful silhouette. His band’s shadowy yet anthemic euphony – comfortably the creepiest happening to crawl retired of Crawley, West Sussex circa 1978 – remains each spot arsenic unmistakable. Pop from the acheronian side, gloomy post-punk that reaches for the airy – telephone it what you like. The Cure are inactive apical of the goths.

What was primitively planned arsenic a circuit successful enactment of their long-awaited 14th medium Songs of a Lost World – inactive seemingly unfinished, contempt its rubric being publically announced – proves a sprawling premix of top hits set, assorted basal done lesser-visited corners of their discography, and a road-test for caller material. At two-and-a-half hours successful length, there’s plentifulness of clip for each three.

Having haunted arenas longer than immoderate ghosts haunt cathedrals, the Cure person their unrecorded dependable down to a towering tee – headphone euphony astatine megadome scale. Featherlight guitar filigrees onshore similar hammers, dolorous synth drawstring drones rumble from the deep. Smith’s agelessly yearning and yelping vocals, his lyrics steeped successful suburban ennui and existent emotion against the big, atrocious world, are the dependable of the eternal moody teen. Pictures of You, the shimmering seven-minute reverie that launched a 1000 shoegaze wig-outs, is simply a chest-punch some figurative and existent that sounds and feels much vivid and live than immoderate 33-year-old opus has a close to. Not atrocious coming from six men who look similar they’re connected their mode to a dressed-down funeral.

Robert Smith and Simon Gallup.
Robert Smith and Simon Gallup. Photograph: Roberto Ricciuti/Redferns

The Cure are 1 of the fewer bands upon which practically immoderate creator ever labelled “alternative” tin surely agree, and the DNA of movements they’ve helped effect are scattered everyplace successful their set. The hopelessly devoted Lovesong we tin possibly squarely recognition with inspiring emo; The Walk volition aboriginal representation retired the shiver and clang of concern electronica. If banal inactive and mislaid successful the imagination is the Cure’s default signifier stance – keys subordinate Roger O’Donnell truthful overmuch truthful that you wonderment if idiosyncratic shouldn’t springiness him a affable shingle conscionable to cheque he’s inactive with america – leather clad, bequiffed and tattooed Simon Gallup arsenic accustomed hasn’t gotten the memo. One of the coolest bass players ever to bash it, helium prowls the stage, mounts the monitors and deadeyes the crowd, instrumentality slung truthful debased it’s astir scraping the floor.

Shaped by the deaths of respective members of Smith’s family, Songs of a Lost World threatens to beryllium a bleak grounds adjacent by the standards of a set whose biggest album, 1989’s four-million selling Disintegration, is simply a hallucinogenic exploration of objective depression. And yet, respective caller songs dependable rooted successful the sweeping, enveloping extremity of the Cure repertoire that dares to beryllium beauteous – the operatic And Nothing Is Forever, for instance, oregon the post-rock machinations of Endsong. “I could dice contiguous of a breached heart,” sings Smith connected A Fragile Thing, lest anyone interest that the 63-year-old goth godfather is going brushed successful his advancing years. On I Can Never Say Goodbye, a tribute to his precocious brother, Smith goes 1 further by quoting a witch successful Shakespeare’s Macbeth: “Something wicked this mode comes.”

The archetypal of 2 encores mines immoderate of the darkest nights of the Cure’s soul. Faith’s funereal dirge precedes the atonal, queasy churn of One Hundred Years, arsenic discomfortingly embellished by achromatic and achromatic photographs of 20th-century warfare, culminating with a mushroom cloud. It each seemingly gets excessively overmuch for Smith determination successful that series and his eyeliner starts to run. “It’s truly hard sometimes being connected signifier erstwhile I commencement crying, for fuck’s sake,” helium mumbles, mildly embarrassed.

Come the 2nd encore, we get a full different broadside of the Cure – popular infiltrators, relentless Top 40 deed machine, improbable legends of the indie disco. Friday I’m successful Love jangles, Close to Me wriggles and shakes, In Between Days and Just Like Heaven are a brace of breathless, rushing euphoria. Boys Don’t Cry ends by taking america backmost to the commencement of their career, with a spry, scrappy and fearless post-punk opus astir masculinity versus unbridled emotion that inactive says the unsayable today, overmuch little successful the precocious 1970s. The Cure incorporate multitudes yet inactive someway ne'er dependable similar anyone other but themselves. Boys whitethorn not person cried, but 1 oregon 2 grown men undoubtedly did.

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