A Means to an End

A Tribute to Joy Division

I wouldn't think twice if I was asked to perform on a KISS tribute album, or to cover a Rolling Stones song for some collection. But trying capturing that Joy Division aura in an honorific way would be entirely challenging. "A Means To An End, The Music of Joy Division" (AutoTonic, 1995) does an exceptional job of securing a bit of Joy Division

The singular highlight of the CD was Moby's rendition of "New Dawn Fades." Moby NEVER releases anything that doesn't blow the mind. On this track in particular, Moby unfolds this astounding combination of heavy, dark guitars and emotional lyrics that is so unlike anything Moby has ever done before--it is rare beauty.

Also not to be overlooked are Low's "Transmission" and Girls Against Boys "She's Lost Control", which both capture the hollow and raw sound that underlied Joy Division. This brings me to the real selling point of this collection: it's not full of "modern- rock" versions of JD songs (like what was done on "If I Were A Carpenter"), but rather an attempt of these artists to gather up what they can find of Joy Division, capture that essense in fruit bottles (no holes in the lid), and release it on this CD.

There's not an unfortunate quality to be found on this CD. One of the major pleasures of the disc is that most of the contributors are bands you haven't heard of before (like Further, Starchildren,and godheadSilo) . If you've ever felt compelled to face dark brightness of Joy Division, you should find it pleasant what these latter-day muses have conjured up.

Jeff Jolley
© 1995, Rational Alternative Digital
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