Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Joy Division's "New Dawn Fades" Music Review.

Joy Division - New Dawn Fades Wallpaper
Recorded exactly a year after another Manchester band's dramatic post-punk debut, "Shot By Both Sides" by Magazine, had influenced its guitar riff, "New Dawn Fades" closes side one of 1979's Unknown Pleasures. Like John McGeoch and Barry Adamson in Magazine, the guitar-bass pairing of Bernard Sumner and Peter Hook combines into a disorienting tune that marries anthem with dirge. For just as Howard Devoto dampened enthusiasm in one Mancunian line-up, so Ian Curtis does here.

His lyrics, like Devoto's single, reflect the disillusion following punk's initial burst and fade. They share the same image, too: a weapon, a victim. Curtis intones at the end of verse one: {I took the blame./ Directionless so plain to see,/A loaded gun won't set you free./So you say." Stephen Morris' drums clang away in Krautrock mechanical style. Hook's bass keeps descending as Sumner's guitar ascends. Martin Hannett's icy production layers this in backward tapes from the band's "Insight" to open "New Dawn Fades" with a disembodied whir. Over and over, the guitars sound like dim chimes.

At nearly five minutes, this feels epic. The band locks into its groove, as Curtis shifts in verse two to another perspective. {An angry voice and one who cried,/'We'll give you everything and more, The strain's too much, can't take much more.' Oh, I've walked on water, run through fire, Can't seem to feel it anymore.} However, much as listeners may hear this a a harbinger of his suicide the next year, there is a respite. For Sumner stops the ascent, and ends by a brief guitar snippet with a hint of hope.

Image. This was submitted to Spectrum Culture 8-13-15 for staff pick #8/top ten Joy Division songs.

P.S. We each first had to send our own top 15 picks to be culled, in reverse order. These are mine. 

15. I Remember Nothing
14. Wilderness
13. Shadowplay
12. Atrocity Exhibition
11. Insight
10. Candidate
9. Interzone
8. Disorder
7. New Dawn Fades
6. Colony
5. Novelty
4. Transmission
3. Isolation
2. She's Lost Control
1. These Days

No "Love Will Tear Us Apart." Great song but it's been ruined for me by too many radio plays.

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