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Gods Own Medicine

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Album Review

Even though the Cult had already mastered the art of mashing goth with more traditional elements of classic rock, the Mission's debut, God's Own Medicine, was the marker for goth rock's invasion of the U.K. charts for a good chunk of the late '80s. Having already made a serious dent on the top reaches of the indie charts with the singles "Serpent's Kiss" and "Garden of Delight," the Mission were on the precipice of becoming big-name players in mainstream circles. Wayne Hussey and Craig Adams had plenty of goth cred, having played with and acrimoniously left the Sisters of Mercy in 1985, and Hussey's ability to bring in elements of classic rock and English fantasy meant that he had a fan base in place and the added touches to reach the larger listening public. In that light, God's Own Medicine was a hit, broadening the Mission's appeal and establishing them as the flagship for the movement as it was unfolding. Musically speaking, the album isn't really their best, as it suffers from some inconsistencies, a muddled track order, and a mistakenly pap version of the indie single "Garden of Delight." And if one can get past Hussey's rather silly spoken intro "I still believe in God, but God no longer believes in me," then one will find moments worth hearing. "Wasteland," "Severina," and "Stay with Me," all strong tracks and singles lifted off the LP, are key Mission tracks, while "Blood Brother" (an homage to Cult leader Ian Astbury) and "And the Dance Goes On" deserve attention. A bit laborious and over the top in their subjects, the slower tracks are stacked toward the end of the record and make the album end on sort of a "blah" note (Hussey's attempts at songs about sex and romance can either wind up sounding corny or smarmy), but the Mission would eventually get the slower stuff right, so it's interesting to hear these selections as embryonic efforts charting a direction to future successes. True, much of what happened on the charts as far as this sound was concerned was quickly forgotten in the wake of Madchester and such, but God's Own Medicine stands as a good signpost for a misunderstood time.

Gods Own Medicine, The Mission
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