Unknown source 1991  
  Superstition Advert - Click Here For Bigger ScanOut of time and joint, the ever willful Siouxsie and her Banshees might seem to have been left back in their tee-pee while the rest of the world moves on with nary a backwards glance at the eccentric  maiden aunt stroking her cats and raging against the light.

But Superstition can't be dismissed just as easily as that.  Siouxsie's ever expanding range is matched by a reborn Banshees ambience in which the clutter of lush psychedelia sounds second nature.

The presence of This Mortal Coil trustee Martin McCarrick may have something to do with the exotic blend but as Siouxsie is prototype and matriarch to the post Cocteaus crowd it'd be a mite cheeky to forget who helped kick start that style in the first place.

You want songs?  They got 'em.  'Cry' is an epiphany for the slaughtered creatures of the deep while 'Ghost In You' seems to have something to do with the killing in China.  No one said pop music had to be a laugh a minute but these aren't dirges either since the lavish attention to detail is too meticulous to ignore.

And enchanting and intelligent record.  


Max Bell



  Unknown source 1991  
  Superstition Advert - Click Here For Bigger Scan'The Banshees', eh?  They've been around for well over a decade now, but they don't just sound like a bunch of old Goths because they've listened to all the happening new dance tunes and incorporated them into their unmistakable sound, as in their latest hit, Kiss Them For Me.  Except they haven't really.  In fact, their single is the only track that's even slightly 'happening' here.  Songs like Silly Thing and Gotta Get Up are failed attempts to go all dancey, ones like Drifter and Softly are those quiet sort of 'ambient' tunes, and things like Fear and Cry sound like loads of other Siouxsie And The Banshees songs you've heard before.  Oh well.  Maybe they are a bunch of old Goths after all, so if you're an old Goth yourself, you'll probably love it. 

6 out of 10  

Tom Doyle



  Q 1991  
  Superstition Advert Click Here For Bigger Scan'Imagine two complete strangers who suspect they were meant to be/Yet their suspicions prevent something heavenly':  Thus intones Siouxsie in 'Fear'.  This is her pithy who'd-have-thought-it-in-'76 craft.  True, not every lyric on 'Superstition' is so incisive.  is 'Little Sister', say, about euthanasia, sibling incest or lesbian love for a nun?  But altogether unambiguous is the flexible power of the post '87 Banshees (with Martin McCarrick, keyboards, and John Klein, guitar).  They pop it up with sweet string textures on the single 'Kiss Them For Me', bear down on the maritime metaphor of 'Drifter' with doomy foghorn and bells effects, give it the all but Twin Peaks dreamscape for 'Softly' and the very nearly Van Halen rock out for 'Got To Get Up' (entendre definitely double).  Meanwhile Siouxsie is superb, sometimes hard as nails in the old way, sometimes high and shimmery as  a tassled hippy folk maiden. 


Phil Sutcliffe



  Webmaster 26/10/01  
  Superstition Poster Click Here For Bigger ScanThe 'pink, fluffy' album. 

Firstly and foremost I love this album. However it is a flawed masterpiece. Should the cover not have had 'STUDIO' & 'PRODUCER' stamped all over it? And it's virtually screams 'America Here We Come'. The Banshees do dance music? I don't think so. 'Kiss Them For Me' is a perfect pop song and certainly should have achieved the commercial success to match it's positive critical appraisal. I do however prefer the looser more organic 'Snapper Mix' of this song. 

Superstition is tight, it's shiny, is it a band playing or a bank of computers talking to each other? The earthy feel of earlier Banshee fare has been lost in the pristine, sheeny surface of the production. 

What did they do to Siouxsie's voice? It sounds so small, so tinny, the maturity and resonance of previous efforts all but lost. Stephen Hague is known to slice everything into tiny pieces and then reassemble it and sadly it's Siouxsie's voice that loses out here. Will she ever be able to reach the sweet, saccharine notes on 'Kiss Them For Me' live? 

There is no theme or concept on this album, but when faced with any song from this album separately there is no doubt where it belongs, so strong is the identity of it's producer. 

Still, Silver Waterfalls and The Ghost In You are sublime. Silver Waterfalls shimmers and shakes across the horizon and as The Ghost In You slowly unwinds it is the perfect antidote to the sharp, pristine contrast of most of the album.

The artwork?  Ummm Siouxsie does fluffy and approachable sex kitten?  Yellow & pink?  Suits the album perfectly.

Superstition's downfall will be forever being able to pinpoint at what moment in time it was made. From leaders of fashion to merely followers.


  Unknown source 1991  
  Superstition/The Rapture Poster Click Here For Bigger Scan"Marvin asks Sam if he had given up his novel, and Sam says 'Temporarily'.  He can not find a form, he explains.  He does not want to write a realistic novel, because reality is no longer realistic"  Norman Mailer: The Man Who Studied Yoga JESUS, times must be strange when the Banshees deliver two thumping great albums in succession.  This freakish group have run a career on building themselves up to some dizzy peak and then wrecking the moment with some lazy, neglected gesture.  Think of their awesome successes ("The Scream", "Kaleidoscope", "Dreamhouse", "Peepshow") and then consider their miserable failures ("Join Hands", "Juju", "Tinderbox").  After each triumph, it's as though the Banshees followed up with some travesty just to test our faith and to exercise their own loathing of rockist progression.  Nothing else could explain the way they seem to revel in their sterility, lethargy, and resentment as much as their fertility, restlessness and curiosity.  They reached their nadir in 1987 with the frumpish "Through The Looking Glass", and album which Paul Morley correctly described, at the time, as "routine, resignation, and retreat".  Not content with having systematically annihilated their own legacy with their previous three albums ("Nocturne", "Hyaena", "Tinderbox"), they attempted to grip to the tail of the past with a large pair of pliers and, in the process, managed to make Bowie's god awful "Pinups" look faintly inspired by comparison.  When the stench of fatigue was threatening to overwhelm, when they seemed hell bent on a course of terminal regression, they swooned back with 1988's "Peepshow" and restored one's belief in the jarring disorder of rock'n'roll.  "Superstition" is a giant record about obsession, phobia, perspective and emotional tyranny.  The kind of record the Banshees have been meaning to make right through the eighties.  An album that harnesses the impact of "The Scream", the virile beauty of "Dreamhouse" and the giddy menace of "Peepshow".  It launches spectacularly with their finest pop single since 1980.  Like "happy House", "Kiss Them For Me" argues that the best pop music is a coarse mixture of the immediate, the euphoric and the bizarre.  Pummeled into shape by the estimable Stephen Hague, it whirls with gravity defying conviction and works itself into the kind of trance we have not seriously heard since Kate Bush lifted her skirt and let "Running Up That Hill" loose on the world.  Rumours that the Banshees have discovered dance music are not erroneous but simply illogical.  White boys have always danced to the Banshees, but rarely as ecstatically as this.  Two weeks have passed and my spine is crooked and my hair is falling out.  Not since "The Scream" has a Banshees album sounded quite so fulfilled or involved.  "Superstition" is the sound of the group once more coming to terms with their permanent exile from the pop and rock scrum.  At their best the Banshees have always moved beyond their apparent limitations with daring simplicity.  "fear" is the slap of a drum, the moan of a bass guitar and a vocal chord tearing like a hymen.  A chance meeting between euro disco and stadium rock if you will.  "Cry" is a jagged, persistent guitar riff and a starving gasp.  A bit like sex really.  "Silver Waterfalls"  is the pitter pat of a rhythm and the warp of a vocal, drugged with sweet unreason.  "Silly Thing" is a freefall melody, tumbling pell mell like water released from a damn, carried forth by screeching guitars and Sioux at her most.  The best description of electricity in years.  When the album truly climaxes, you wonder if anything will enchant, disturb and perplex quite like this all year.  "Softly" is a post coital Julee Cruise, a chilling tour through a melancholic hinterland, Sioux clenching and unclenching the tension with superb control.  "Ghost In You" is a furiously pretty six note refrain that haunts long after the needle has returned to safety.  Best of all is "Shadowtime", presumably a future single, a tremendously edgy piece of rock and roll babble, in the tradition of "Switch".  Also the glacial sweep of "Little Sister" which moves with a gentle ebb, Siouxsie maneuvering  incautiously around the precarious high notes.  The only flat moment here is "Drifter", a willfully obscure and uneventful plunge through synthesiser buzz and guitar crackle.  Strange, exhilarating times then for the pop record.  The barbarians and bricklayers are about to be turned away from the gate.  Meanwhile, the Banshees shake the kaleidoscope again and delight in the fall of random factors, chaos and contingency.  Clearly, their "Superstition" is one of the greatest records ever made.  


  Melody Maker 15/06/91  
  Superstition Poster Click Here For Bigger ScanPerhaps it's time to explode a few myths about Siouxsie & The Banshees...

To many, Sioux and her 'Goff' mates have always seemed to enjoy sole access to the largest supply of bad acid in the world.  Just look at the old witch, her detractors grumble, belching into their pie and chips, just look at the sad crone staggering about in circles with only a bunch of small-time art dealers and a stick with a skull on top for support.

Even certain of her supporters miss the point by several thousand kilometres and have been known to indulge in gormless hikes about the alternative Cluedo board.  "It's the Wicked Witch Of The West," they gabble hopefully, "In the tomb with the stone(d) gargoyles," when Isadora Duncan in the Real World with the Dream Mafia is, quite possibly, much nearer the mark.

The fact is, despite numerous flirtations with mediocrity, Siouxsie & The Banshees have always had balls - and not just of the crystal fortune-telling variety.  Quite the opposite of being fake eccentrics, they echo the voice of the practical lunatic who knows he's a bit odd but can't do a damn thing about it.  'Superstition' therefore documents their latest mocking escape from straitjackets and 'normality'.

the album spins into life with the current single 'Kiss Them For me'.  Brilliant, morbid and preposterous in turn, it features Sioux slyly dissecting the tiny worldview of a frivolous socialite from behind the tinted windows of a rented limousine.  At another time, in another place, F Scott Fitzgerald and Dot parker would have waltzed to it.

'Fear Of The Unknown' is not quite so great despite incorporating the 'WHIRRR! WHIRRR!' noise from 'Crazy Horses' and shades of vintage Yello.  What offends here is Sioux's vocals.  They're so horribly reminiscent of Hazel O'Connor's 'Eighth Day' she may be held responsible for a widespread revival of robot dancing.

Happily the next track, 'Cry' - a fast, almost tribal melody coasting into town on a lyrical 'Green' ticket - drags the index fingers from my ears in time to chill out the glacial, superior 'Drifter'.  A song which examines the concept of sad isolation so convincingly it might have been recorded at a Bros fan convention.

To be honest, the abyss stretching between the good and bad bits of this album is enormous.  Whereas 'Shadowtime' reveals that only Siouxsie and her crew could fashion a rock 'n' roll epic out of lace-edged doilies and Lapsang Souchong tea, 'Got To Get Up' is so misguided and fingers-down-the-back-of-your-throat cute your only wish is to stay in bed, pull the blankets over your head and shoot yourself.

'Softly' is another stinker masquerading as a poisoned rose.  The idea behind the track is interesting enough, with Sioux prowling, tender as a school bully, through a sleeping lover's psyche, but the reality is depressing.  Not only does she take Julee Cruise along for the ride, Sioux neglects to push the idiot into the path of the nearest moving vehicle.

'Silver Waterfalls', however, is a welcome return to pristine 'Christine' form.  The sound of the much-missed Mad Eyed Screamer wallowing in a new puddle of grumpy ecstacy.  As well as being a song people with a strong sense of irony can strip-tease to, 'Silver Waterfalls' also features La Sioux in fine Velvet Glove Encasing Loaded Uzi mode.  When this woman fakes the loving, maternal touch my only advice to you is to duck.  Trusting her in this mood is like believing Lady Macbeth when she insists that she's only washing her hands because she's been doing a spot of gardening.

'Little Sister' starts off sounding like a run-of-the-mill love song, at which point you remember that The Banshees can be as middle of the road as the next squashed hedgehog.  Then all of a sudden it veers off and shambles off into the distance, its core obscured by a decidedly dodgy operatic beat.  Perhaps if Budgie stopped using drums covered in human skin it would help.

'Superstition' ends triumphantly with 'The Ghost In You'.  The Banshees spiking the dance butterfly to the heart then apologising afterwards.  Wanton humourists that they are, they even throw in the famous catchy bit from 'Groovy Train' (only famous because The Farm have stuck it in all their songs since) and take care to sprinkle its lyric with OTT pathos.

'Superstition' is a not a sign that The Banshees are ready to take the modern world by the horns at last, or even acknowledge it particularly.  It's just another chance to hear them teasing the sun with a raindance.  An acquired taste certainly, but one only the blackest of hearts would want to smother in contemporary urban ketchup.  


Barbara Ellen



  Unknown source 1991  
  Superstition Advert - Click Here For Bigger ScanDancing:  that, of course, is what we think about when we think about the Banshees.  Grooving in a mystic way, with a silly grin playing lazily across the chops.  Grin?  Ah, come one.  We're talking goth.

Or are we?  Frankly, would such acutely aware careerists as Ms Sioux and her friends continue to plough a dark and deathly furrow in these hippy, dippy days?  Would that not be to appear hopelessly outmoded?

To avoid this, the hard core of Siouxsie, Severin and Budgie, plus John Klein and Martin McCarrick (guitar and keyboards on the last release, 'Peepshow') have turned for production assistance to Stephen Hague.  Fresh from his work with the Pet Shop Boys, New Order and Pere Ubu, Hague was presumably recruited to temper the customary Banshee dirges with something more upbeat to help the band re-invent themselves for the '90s.  Occasionally, this works well.

Take, for example, the passionately laidback single 'Kiss Them For Me'.  It bears the exotic, sitar-based signature of Talvin Singh and, although its subject matter is the life and gory death of Hollywood starlet Jayne Mansfield (decapitated in a car crash after a satanist laid a curse on her lover), its funky, Manchester mantra guitar line and New Order-style keyboards - plus an underlying hush of electro pulsebeat - make it dancefloor friendly, though it remains more beautiful than baggy.

The rest of the LP doesn't always maintain this intoxicated bravado.  The disembodied vocal of 'Fear' throbs with a dated alienation, and 'Cry' is a toothpaste bland disco throb.

However, 'Silly Thing' cavorts with dervish energy, and 'Little Sister' riots with a fresh-sounding version of the original shivery Banshee menace.  'Drifter' is a peach, lazy Sergio Leone cowboy grit all mixed up with the ethereal sensuality of Simon Dupree's indispensable 'Kites'.

Put that together with the gorgeous 'Silver Waterfalls', the delicate 'Softly' (lyrics bare and tender enough to be almost Scott Walker-type haiku, here) and the ragged cadences of 'Ghost In You', and you have a most bizarre collection.

Perfect and imperfect; eccentric, as in cracked and crazed - but only like a good Ming vase; ambitious... oh, and a bit of dancey stuff.


Glyn Brown.