It is with no small amount of anticipation that I have awaited the release of Go Away White, the first Bauhaus album to come out since I started listening to them circa 1985, two years after they broke up. This is my first ever chance, then, to hear newly released material by one of my favorite bands. The CD arrived from Amazon yesterday and is sitting now on my desk, shrinkwrapped. I am a little scared of it. My expectations are sky-high; nothing less than a transcendent experience will do, and that’s just setting yourself up for disappointment, isn’t it?
It sure looks good. In contrast to the old Bauhaus albums, all of which were predominantly black, it is almost entirely white. The cover image is some kind of angel (or devil) (something with wings, anyway) with its back turned. All the text is in white as well—the embossed title on the front is easy to read, the song titles on the back much less so. But with some squinting I can make them out: The first song is called “Too Much 21st Century,” the last song “Zikir.” Further study reveals that in the songwriting credits David J. is using his last name, Haskins, for the first time.
I find this change in art direction interesting given that the last song on the last original Bauhaus album, “Hope,” was uncharacteristically uplifting for a band whose modus operandi was to live on the dark side. Will this album pick up from there and be all inspirational-like? The song titles “Black Stone Heart” and “Endless Summer of the Damned” indicate otherwise.
Alright, time to stop pussyfooting around. It’s 10:22 and the shrinkwrap is coming off.