Sometimes you just forget how good a band are. Yesterday, I decided on a change to my listening, and stumbled across a little band called Joy Division. I can’t say they’re one of my all-time favourite bands, nor can I say I know all of their work (I only have the Greatest Hits, not the albums) but every time I listen to them again it amazes me just how special they were. Their sound is so ghostly yet powerful, and any idea that that style of production could limit a band are quickly erased as you listen to their work. They may ply their trade in negative songs, but they cover the whole spectrum of negativity – laments, anger, depression, it’s all there.
Just listen to the two songs below. ‘Warsaw’ is a scratchy, punky bustle of noise. It’s an early song, but it shows the band’s intent perfectly. On the other hand, ‘Auto-Suggestion’ is a shambling beast of a track, the slow drumbeats, Hooky’s insistent, menacing bass, the fevered wails of guitar and Ian Curtis’ deep, sliding vocals add up to make 6 minutes of wonderfully odd music. That one band could make two songs that are so different, and yet so recognisably Joy Division is frankly amazing, and this is why they’ve survived like they have for this long.