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The World That Summer: 20th Anniversary Extras - EP

Death In June

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Album Review

This double album finds Death in June covering similar ground to the earlier LP Nada! from a year earlier. Jackboot rhythms, acoustic guitar strums, electronic effects, and Douglas Pearce's low, droning vocals and gloomy choruses conspire to paint a vision slightly more depressing than Joy Division. While "Come Before Christ and Murder Love" could almost be a pop song on heavy downers, other pieces offer more experimentalism. David Tibet adds backup vocals on most of the songs on the first record, his raspy voice offering an interesting contrast to Pearce's smoother lead, and at times Tibet is either whispering or screaming in the background. "Break the Black Ice" with the echoed voices and creepy little piano runs over a bed of acoustic guitar textures is frightening. This piece and several others have horn fanfares, elsewhere gongs and a tinkly music box can be heard. The second disc has three instrumental versions of tracks from the first record on one side, while the flip side is taken up by "Death of a Man," a long collage piece with mechanical rhythms, found-sound voices in many different languages, what sounds like monkeys shrieking, and other effects. The record may not be quite as strong as the earlier Nada!, especially with the filler on the second LP, but still finds Death in June moving forward. [The 20th Anniversary reissue comes packaged in a beautiful, limited-edition carved stone box.]

Biography

Formed: 1980

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Industrial innovators Death in June emerged in 1980 from the remnants of the punk unit Crisis, reuniting singer/multi-instrumentalist Douglas Pearce and bassist Tony Wakeford; drummer Patrick Leagas completed the original lineup, which made its live debut late the following year with an opening slot for the Birthday Party. The 12-inch "Heaven Street" soon followed, and in 1983 Death in June issued their first full-length effort, The Guilty Have No Pride; from the outset, the group was criticized...
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