The album title was a bit of shock for this Brit. What’s Boys Don’t Cry (BDC)? ‘Cos in the UK, it was Three Imaginary Boys. Whatever it’s called, it was the first record by The Cure, and introduced the world to Robert Smith and…ummm… the revolving cast of characters that his support band turned out to be. (For Dr. Rock’s playlist of The Cure, click here).
For those of used to the full-on guitar/tongue-in-cheek onslaught of the Sex Pistols and the quirky humor of the Stranglers and their keyboard-dominated-punk driven sound, The Cure were a definite WTF? moment. From the introspective, moody, Albert-Camus-inspired lyrics (and, yes, THAT’s where the lyrics for “Killing an Arab” came from) to the sparse, crisp, distortion-free and (dammit) intriguing guitar style of Mr. Smith, the Cure left its audience a bit baffled as to genre. They weren’t punk, ‘cos no one was spitting at them. They weren’t pop because Robert Smith didn’t look like he’d ever smiled inanely in his life; and Goth hadn’t been invented yet – although kudos to Howard Devoto’s Magazine, who were making serious strides in that direction before the Sisters of Mercy got going.
Overall a great album, and a neat glimpse into Mr. Smith’s highly-inventive guitar chops, which dominate here, before keyboards started pushing his sound a little off center stage in the next album, Seventeen Seconds.
Moonglum rating: 4 tubes of mascara (out of a possible 5).
Review by Moonglum.