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The Sisters Of Mercy - Some Girls Wander By Mistake album review

Fifty shades of black, newly reissued on deluxe vinyl

Cover art for The Sisters Of Mercy - Some Girls Wander By Mistake album

Despite releasing only one new song in the past 27 years, Andrew Eldritch’s techno-goth trailblazers remain the cult that will not die. They still fill arenas in Europe, while their rare UK shows are frenzied sell-outs.

Newly remastered as a vinyl box set, this 1992 compilation of early singles and EPs captures the future doom-rock overlords as a febrile work in progress between 1980 and 1983, a rough beast slouching towards Leeds University Student Union.

At almost eight minutes, the full-length zombie-apocalypse cyberpunk stampede of Temple Of Love is the sole crossover anthem here. Reissued in 1992, it gave the Sisters their biggest hit.

Some of these primitive experiments haven’t aged gracefully, with too much spindly drum-machine clatter and juvenile sleaze-horror schlock. But Phantom and Kiss The Carpet remain impressively cinematic, meshing moody guitar twangs with stuttering electro beats, while the slamming technometal cover of Iggy’s 1969 is basically Eldritch shamelessly confessing where he copped his Nosferatu vocal croak.

More interesting are very early tracks such as Watch, Body Electric and Adrenochrome, recorded when the Sisters were still post-punk proto-goths who shared more sonic terrain with PiL or Cabaret Voltaire than the none-more-black hordes who would later follow them into the eternal night.

Stephen Dalton has been writing about all things rock for more than 30 years, starting in the late Eighties at the New Musical Express (RIP) when it was still an annoyingly pompous analogue weekly paper printed on dead trees and sold in actual physical shops. For the last decade or so he has been a regular contributor to Classic Rock magazine. He has also written about music and film for Uncut, Vox, Prog, The Quietus, Electronic Sound, Rolling Stone, The Times, The London Evening Standard, Wallpaper, The Film Verdict, Sight and Sound, The Hollywood Reporter and others, including some even more disreputable publications.