December 27, 2023

Marc & The Mambas - Torment & Toreros (1983)

*This is the U.K. first pressing. 
Country: United Kingdom
Genre: New Wave
Label Number: 812 872-2

© 1983-1992 Phonogram/Some Bizzare
If there's any acid test for being a Marc Almond fanatic, it would have to be Torment & Toreros, originally a double album and still the longest thing he's yet released. It isn't so much length as it is subject matter, though informed by his consistent bitterness with the industry as experienced via the soon to implode Soft Cell, the sheer self-loathing and unrestrained anger have never been paralleled by any of his other releases. Matched by an expanded Mambas lineup, including a string quartet featuring rock journeyman Martin McCarrick in one of his earliest appearances, Almond swings from slow weepers over lost innocence, sexual and otherwise, to frantic explosions of lyrical bile. Though often great, once you hit "Catch a Fallen Star" and its snarling, obscenity-laden take on fame, clearly the unexpected pop star of "Tainted Love" has absented himself. Some of his most effective moments appear throughout the collection (benefiting from co-production by Flood, one of the English producer's first major efforts), including another Brel cover, "The Bulls," the frenetic and aptly titled "A Million Manias," and a lovely take on Peter Hammill's "Vision." This is not a starting point for new fans, but a singular kind of album: One for the true Almond obsessive.

 tags: mar and the mambas, torment and toreros, 1983, flac,


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