Friday, August 28, 2009

Lords of the New Church: Is Nothing Sacred?

Their second album finds the Lords (see here) faltering a bit. Neither the production, the playing or the song-writing measure up to their debut. To be fair, Bators-James' "Dance with Me", with it's kitschy video, hokey come-ons ("Love can be like bondage") and slinky tune, is a new wave (electro-pop division) classic.

(Wince-inducing isn't it ? The oddest moment though, has to be that kid with the Skrwdriver shirt hosting the show!)

There are other fine examples of their pop malevolence (like an original entitled "Johnny Too Bad") but the second and final single was the other brightest light, a Grass Roots cover produced by Todd Rundgren (the man behind the board for the New York Dolls and many other classics).

Overall, this is an album more concerned with "nocturnal salvation" than religious or political conspiracy (which still gets some play on the catchy, "Tale of Two Cities"). It's got a bit of mainstream dance-rock groove going on, akin to the Rolling Stones early eighties work, which some might take as a compliment. However the more tacked-on synthesizers and the dopier lyrics ("Don't worry children, everything's gonna be aright") refuse to let this album rule the dance floor or the stadium.

The mightily precious Nouvelle Vague covered the song on their Bande a Part album.


  1. Great writing Jeffen and I totally agree that is didn't live up to their debut. Not many second albums do to be truthful. Poor production indeed and much weaker songs. Method To My Madness was definately an improvement on this one though in my opinion.

  2. Thanks, Longy.

    It's true that Method is a stronger overall album but the original vision of the band had started calcifying and turning into caricature by then so for me it's not as fun(it's coming up next of course!)

  3. I guess who's that genius that direct the video...terrible time the 80' roberto

  4. Thanks for this.Not Lords of the New Church best but still a big OK by moi.Production definitely dates this album.Ya hear a little Duran Duran,Magazine etc.Of course the debut album by Magazine is ,by far, my favourite post punk album.
    'Is Nothing Sacred?' has it all.Horns,girl back up singers,cover tunes,Todd Rundgren etc. A desire for mass success?

    Also any album that covers a tune by Tim Smith just has to be alright.I am a huge TV Smith fan.

  5. Doug
    That's pretty fair review of the album right there.

    Having copped their entire 'new church' shtick from an Adverts song they owed TV some royalties, even if only for covering one of his merely okay songs.

  6. Roberto
    Fashion in the eighties was a pretty wretched thing.

  7. i have to say, of all the schlock that emerged in the early eighties, the lords were tops...definitely brings back memories and your copy on both releases was quite accurate. in thumbing through my vinyl for these i just stumbled upon the like a virgin 12"...not sure which was scarier, the song or stiv's testicle in fishnet; regardless, happy memories and great music, thanks!

  8. Yeah the cover image and the cover song vie for highest level of ickniness. Needless to say that song's coming tomorrow!


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