I’ve always given Bauhaus some leeway. The band did what they do so right a long time ago that they’ve earned a little extra latitude.
But Bauhaus has ruined that by announcing that Go Away White, its first album since 1983’s Burning From the Inside, will be the last thing its members will ever do under the name Bauhaus. Call me incredulous, but when the first thing out of Peter Murphy’s mouth is a lamentation about wanting to be a better singer, I start to wonder how easily the members of Bauhaus might change their minds.
Go Away White does have one thing going for it: Nothing else this year will sound like it. Some songs, like “Saved,” are intentionally lean, while others, like “The Dog’s a Vapour,” are wailing cacophonies, fine-tuned to sound like rough cuts from the grave of a long-forgotten recording era. White’s complete lack of evolution is a curious thing. Everything that made Bauhaus great is there—its stark, screechy non-melodies, overlaid with Murphy’s voice, evoke a sinuous, club-friendly atmosphere. At the same time, everything that was wrong with early Bauhaus—the band’s tendency toward beating the things they do well to death, making the whole blood-and-darkness-and-spider-webs thing look even sillier—came along for the ride.
Let’s face it, though. You already know if you’re the kind of person who would buy a Bauhaus album. Look deep within your heart, or maybe your closet. If you find enough black lace in either place, White won’t disappoint you.