In between “The Scream” and here Siouxsie and Steve Severin (they being the core of The Banshees) had lost half a band (Kenny Morris and John McKay), picked up a temporary guitar player (Robert Smith) a drummer of fearsome prowess (Budgie) and hired a guitar player whose name should be celebrated as one of the greats of our era, I do, of course, mean the great John McGeogh. There had also been 2 more albums “Join Hands” and “Kaleidoscope”.
By the time we reach this point and “Ju Ju” the line up of Sioux, Severin, McGeogh and Budgie were on their 2nd album together. What you need to know about this record is that McGeogh and Budgie are on another plane of musicianship here. The skill, inventiveness and sheer power in their playing is breathtaking.
I can’t dissect too much what drummers do except to say that what Budgie does on this album ain’t like anything I’d heard any drummer do before. As for McGeogh…well you can take all your guitar players of any stripe, Blues bores (I’m looking at you Claptout), metal fretwanking speed merchants, all of them, McGeogh’s playing on this album is simply one of the greatest guitar performances ever committed to tape.
There are 2 killer singles inside the first 3 tracks (“Spellbound” and “Arabian Nights”) and on songs like “Monitor”, “Sin In My Heart” and “Halloween” McGeogh and Budgie drive this album along helping take Siouxsie to places she’d never reached before.
Every kid wanting to play drums or guitar should listen to this album so they know there is an alternative to the written in stone “guitar gods” and that drumming went elsewhere after Bonham etc. And if you have never heard this album, what are you doing reading this ? Go grab a copy…NOW!
Monitor - https://youtu.be/0sMC3qugQPM