Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Names - Swimming + Singles

The Names were a crepuscular post punk trio from Brussels, Belgium, who put out four singles and an album, all produced by Martin Hannett of Factory Records and existed during a very interesting era for music. To fully grasp their raison d'etre, you need to take things into context as there were a lot of important movements going on and things were beginning to change from the late 70’s into the 80’s and The Names certainly played a minor, yet significant part in it all. They shared a few similarities to Joy Division, although not as raw and a bit more melodic. Although, they were generally considered “dark,” and melodramatic in nature like many bands in the genre, it would be better to describe them (much like Joy Division) as having this fatalistic romanticism. At times it sounds like music to make love to during the apocalypse, with the moon inauspiciously plummeting towards earth, while the fault-lines around the globe are splitting apart devouring entire cities and everything on the horizon engulfed in a large pyre. It’s this blood-and-thunder, histrionic vibe that was central to their brooding, yet passionate style. Sadly, The Names died off in 1983 as the post punk era also came to an end, and that was that. This particular re-release contains their sole album Swimming as well as all of their singles (including my favorite B-side of theirs, “I Wish I Could Speak your Language”)

Rating: 7.5/10


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