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 Public Image Limited - The Flowers of Romance

Public Image Limited - The Flowers of Romance

Get your hard hats on for this fest of eardrum ripping drumming, dark synth, blood curdling Lydon vocals and a 'way out there' cornucopia of instrumentation and sounds.

'Four Enclosed Walls', 'Under The House', and 'Banging The Door' gave drummer Martin Atkins free rein, and he takes full advantage! A joke in a British music paper, NME, at the time, was that it was really a whole array of vaunted drummers on this album, hammering away simultaneously, including Ginger Baker. It wasn't, but, ironically, the ex-Cream man would drum for PIL some years later.

This album encompasses historical references aplenty, and, musically, moves from free jazz to a distorted type of Eastern folk music, with a very sparing use of conventional electric guitars.

The title track, 'Flowers Of Romance', even has a 'Johnny Rotten plays violin' moment, which, surprisingly, he pulls off with aplomb. It's the nearest there is to a commercial track here.

'Go Back' is a dry and witty observation of right wing paranoia, more specifically about refugees coming into Britain. This track sums up an undercurrent of darkness which pervades the whole album. An album which bellows, "We're not in it for the money" - an attitude lost on the wannabe celebrity culture of now.

This is not rock or pop music, and it has no real pigeon-hole to go to. Okay, let's try! Experimental, primeval world music perhaps? High marks for Lydon and Levene for not settling on producing the rock fodder which was expected of them. Musically, this album still leaves me as puzzled as when I first heard it, but maybe that was the whole idea...

1. For Enclosed Walls
2. Track 8
3. Phenagen
4. Flowers Of Romance
5. Under The House
6. Hymies Him
7. Banging The Door
8. Go Back
9. Francis Massacre
10. Flowers Of Romance (Instrumental)
11. Home Is Where The Heart Is
12. Another

Copyright © Paul Rance, Used with permission
Posted By: Paul Rance
Genre: Alternative Rock, Post-Punk, Experimental Rock, Indie Rock

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