Joy Division “Closer” (part 2)

This record brings back, with frightening lucidity, Columbus, Ohio, 1982, when I lived there, which isn’t surprising since that wasn’t long after this record came out, and there were a lot of Columbus bands heavily influenced by Joy Division (or maybe just a few bands, but REALLY heavily influenced, like the Naked Skinnies), and TKA and The Offense music zine was really into JD. In a way, it bugs me, that feeling, but on the other hand it feels good.

The song “Isolation” sums up, for me, everything I hated about the 80s sound– though I can’t really say what bands I hated because I hated all of them and listened to none of them. But then the next song on the record, “Passover” just fascinates me. This is the Joy Division that I am a fan of– really minimal, repetitious, quiet yet noisy– and there’s something faintly scary about it.  “A Means to an End” is the one that reminds me of Columbus.

Side B is just TOTALLY hypnotic. The song “24 Hours” is so familiar, it’s like I just listened to it yesterday. “The Eternal” sounds like it could be a Nick Cave song. Were Joy Division and The Birthday Party playing at about the same time? I’m not sure. This is a slow, really haunting song. And then the last song, “Decades,” is the one that really kind of shocks me. How can I like this song this much after all these years? It’s pretty amazing. It’s really minimal– drums, synthesizer, minimal bass, repetitive singing– but it keeps going through these subtle changes. It is incredibly dramatic– this one song– it’s like I watched, or read, a play, or saw a really good movie. I’m obsessed with this song for awhile, and I have to listen to it every day… it’s like I’m a new fan, here in… whatever year this is.


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