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Mask

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Editors’ Notes

More sonically robust and viscerally aggressive than their self titled debut, 1981’s Mask finds Bauhaus securing their claim on the dark sonic territory that groups like The Birthday Party and Joy Division had explored before them. Though Mask introduces a few new sounds into Bauhaus’ palette, the razor thin guitar racket, and flat mechanistic beats of their debut In The Flat Field remain largely intact. Nonetheless Mask marked a major step forward for Bauhaus; though their general approach had changed little, on Mask Bauhaus seemed to realize that they could graft their ludicrously gloomy aesthetic onto hip-shaking dance rhythms. The results can be seen on tracks like the sinuous “Hair of The Dog” which stomps like glam and shakes like disco, while the swinging groove of “In Fear of Fear” contrasts sharply, but pleasurably with Peter Murphy’s somnolent wail, to create a sound that was, at the time, entirely unfamiliar to pop audiences. Though the stylistic blueprint that Bauhaus hewed out with Mask would eventually be unforgivably mangled by legions of second rate imitators, one can still revisit this album with fresh ears and recognize it for the triumph that it undoubtedly is.

Customer Reviews

Awesome

"Hair of the Dog" and "Kick In The Eye 2" are probably my favorite Bauhaus songs ever. This album rules. It's not as dark as some of the band's later work. Some of the songs listed on this i-tunes version (tracks 11 through 15) did not appear on my original cassette tape from 1981 though, and they are strange. Where did they come from?...

Perfect

The absolute, hands down, best Bauhaus album. Some of their best songs may not be on it, but as a whole this album is truly their triumph, possibly only do to the fragmenting of the recordings that would come from "The Sky's Gone Out" and "Burning From the Inside" (which are still excellent albums.) It starts off with the dark energy filled songs "Hair of the Dog" and "Passion of Lovers", and just stays strong from there. "Of Lillies and Remains" is a stand out track with mainly David J, not Peter Murphy on the lead vocals, taking an almost spoken word approach to it, resulting in a bizarre, even humuorous approach. The studio album itself ends with the title track, "Mask", which is as musically close to perfection in a song that you could ever hope to hear. The contrast of the dark, cold synthesizers and the introduction half-way through of an elegant acoustic guitar creates a sound simply too amazing to describe, and likely near impossible to replicate with ease. The last five tracks on here are all bonus material, and is somewhat erratic, but "Harry" and "Satori" are both worth the listen anytime you listen to the rest of the album. Recommended tracks: "Passion of Lovers" "Of Lillies and Remains" "In Fear of Fear" "Kick in the Eye 2" "Mask" Even if you're not a fan of goth rock like myself, you'll likely find yourself growing to love this album if you give it a chance, possibly to the point of adding it to your personal favorite albums of all time list.

wow

what can i say. my musical taste is all over the place, but this is what i was listening to during high school. the rolling stones, the beatles, bowie and whatever my family was playing at the time (fleetwood mac, kiss, led zepplin, the dickies, gary newman, van halen.) i have to say this was a soundtrack of a very interesting time growing up. very smart lyrics delivered raw, puzzled metaphysics. greek mythology is a common theme in bauhaus, along with catholicism. a narrative of a smart mans journey down a spiritual path backed with feedback crooning and structures of percussion building and falling. if you really want to get an idea of what this band was like then check out Shadow of Light (Live Show DVD).

Biography

Formed: 1978 in Northampton, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Bauhaus are the founding fathers of goth rock, creating a minimalistic, overbearingly gloomy style of post-punk rock driven by jagged guitar chords and cold, distant synthesizers. Throughout their brief career, the band explored all the variations on their bleak musical ideas, adding elements of glam rock, experimental electronic rock, funk, and heavy metal. While their following...
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