Style: Goth, Dark WaveSimilar artists: Crüxshadows, The Cure, Medicine
Recording year : 4AD, 1986.
Clan of Xymox have been in the unfortunate position of always being compared to other bands since their inception. Whether it's the Cure or Joy Division, Clan of Xymox have never been able to shake off the similarities to their influences. Nevertheless, the group has produced an impressive body of work that consistently absorbed new sounds while remaining faithful to the '80s goth rock menu.
Clan of Xymox were formed in Nijmegen, Netherlands, in 1983 by Ronny Moorings (vocals, guitar) and Anka Wolbert (bass, vocals). A year later, Moorings and Wolbert moved to Amsterdam, releasing the LP Subsequent Pleasures as Xymox. (The album was limited to 500 copies.) Xymox then became the opening act for Dead Can Dance in England. The band's presence on Dead Can Dance's U.K. tour caught the interest of 4AD Records, and the label eventually signed them. A year later, Xymox lengthened their name to Clan of Xymox and recorded a self-titled album in 1985, followed by Medusa the next year.
Clan of Xymox's second full album (not counting the rudimentary debut EP) is a distinct improvement on the Dutch band's earlier work, and indeed is probably the group's career high point. However, the band's fatal flaws remain clear throughout the album: although these songs are superficially attractive in a goth-dance sort of way, there's little in the way of depth or substance here, and on closer listen, one realizes that the best parts of these songs sounded even better when they appeared on earlier albums by Depeche Mode, Xmal Deutschland, Propaganda, and Bauhaus. The album's high point by far is the proto-acid house "Michelle," which has the dreamy neo-psychedelic textures of Psychic TV's "Godstar" or mid-period Siouxsie and the Banshees.
Fields Of Haze... Underground for all.