Totem and Taboo – Hugh Cornwell

What’s totem for me, is taboo for you.
This is a bit sneaky as this record is not out until September. However I have a pre-release copy so I am going to write about it. When I started doing this blog I mentioned that it isn’t going to be a blog of album reviews. However, when the album is new, it is a lot harder to avoid the R word. I will try to give a straight review, if I can.
The album sounds great on speakers and headphones, I think using Steve Albini has given the album a very different feel to previous releases, although there is some continuity with the analogue sound of Hooverdam (his previous album). The real stand-out track, no, jump out and slap your face track is – In the Dead of Night. I kid you not, this is the best track Hugh has done since his Stranglers heyday (Rattus to La Folie) and is cast from the same mould as those final track Stranglers epics that they were so good at doing (School Mam, Toiler, Down in the Sewer). Another favourite of mine is, Street Called Caroll. I saw him doing this track earlier in the year and it sounded like a classic even then, with just voice and acoustic guitar.
It must be good, I listened to it three times today.


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