Lydia Lunch: Queen of Siam (1980)
This is a perfect hide-under-the-covers, sneer-at-the-world album, with a touch of vampish seduction and careless cool for added (dis)pleasure. Lazy, slinky songs ‘Mechanical Flattery’ and ‘Tied & Twist’ make dark thoughts and misanthropic poses into normal sane responses to our dank world. ‘Gloomy Sunday’ is a love song to quietus. Almost uplifting in its soft-voiced sultriness. Lunch is the sort of singer who likes to seduce and poison the listener. ‘Spooky’ and ‘Los Banditos’ are deceptive come-ons into her realm of the blood-drenched erotic. No one comes out alive, but everyone certainly comes. ‘Lady Scarface’ is a snot-nosed little performance of beguiling cast-iron witchery. In case the listener should feel too cosy, ear-splitting big band numbers ‘A Cruise to the Moon’ and ‘Knives in the Drain’ keep the arrogant gothic poses at full snarl. ‘Carnival Fat Man’ and ‘Blood of Tin’ were written to insult and terrify the listener. As was, presumably, the entire album. A moody, minor classic.