Haines classics re-recorded, plus three new songs
Despite having been fingered as one of the culprits of Britpop, Luke Haines is probably closer in spirit to Throbbing Gristle’s Genesis P Orridge or even playwright Dennis Potter than Damon, Noel or Jarvis. The man behind The Auteurs and Black Box Recorder exhibits a similar fascination for the gristle of British life behind the twitching curtains, albeit aided by tunes your mum could sing. Haines has rightly decided to throw his talent for melodic unpleasantness into sharp relief with this collection of string-assisted re-recordings spanning his career so far, from 1992’s Auteurs debut New Wave to 2001’s solo outing The Oliver Twist Manifesto.
He renegotiates these songs (including “Lenny Valentino”, “Unsolved Child Murder” and “Future Generation”) skillfully, the string arrangements wringing out all the grandeur of the originals, Haines’ whispered vocals as unnerving as ever. The new songs, “Satan Wants Me”, “Michael Powell” and “Bugger Bognor”, are brutally beautiful. Hard to love, but then the old curmudgeon probably wouldn’t have it any other way.