The fall of goth revisited
The Mission, who built a successful career in the 80s after splitting from The Sisters of Mercy, were a chart staple until about 1990, when all of a sudden their shimmering goth soundscapes sounded a bit old-fashioned. Wayne Hussey and co hung in there until 1997, finally bowing out after these two albums.
1995’s Neverland was a mixed bag, lacking a coherent direction and sounding as if the band had no real idea where they were going or what to do when they got there. The following year they released Blue, which may not have reinvented the wheel – the Oasis parody/homage of Get Back To You is painfully obvious – but at least it had balls, with Coming Home, That Tears Shall Drown The Wind and Alpha Man focusing on a stripped-down, often atmospheric sound.
It’s probably just as well that Hussey quit, took a few years off and then returned to take advantage of the nostalgia circuit, where he remains. The Mission were great in their day, but the late 90s just weren’t that day.
Once more into the dry ice…
The mid-90s incarnation of Wayne Hussey’s goth grovers saw him keeping company with refugees from Spear Of Destiny and All About Eve, and dispensing with much of his previous mysticism for a more eclectic but disjointed sound. “Love Myself In You” dabbles in the dance rock of INXS, although the black-hatted beat of yore rears its head on “Raising Cain” and “Cry Like A Baby”. John Lennon’s “Instant Karma” gets a passable T.Rex makeover on the bonus disc, although six mixes of the single “Swoon” arguably over-eggs the doomy pudding. The following year’s Blue is also reissued this month.
The Mission, “Neverland…Plus”
Edsel’s new 2 CD package expands the original contents of the The Mission’s sixth album, “Neverland,” with the inclusion of all the non-album singles sides and mixes and a couple of cover versions that had previously only seen the light of day in Germany. These interesting revivals of John Lennon’s “Instant Karma” and Status Quo’s “pictures of Matchstick Men” sit snugly alongside gripping self-penned songs such as “Swoon,” “Lose Myself in You” and “Celebration,” capturing the gothic rockers’ distinctive sound at its most elemental and compelling.
Critically derided and commercially unsuccessful at the time of their release in 1995 and 1996, these are the sixth and seventh albums from goth act The Mission. Although perhaps lacking the bombastic power of their earlier albums, they still pack a punch, especially Neverland, from which Swoon, Lose Myself In You and the title track are all excellent.
In its new edition, Neverland includes a bonus disc of B-sides and mixes, Blue is expanded to include two B-sided and both albums come with booklets including new liner notes and full lyrics. The band went on hiatus for four years after Blue, but subsequently reformed and are still active today.