Sunday, September 19, 2010

Blood and Roses – Enough is Never Enough (Audiodrome Records, 1985)

Naming themselves after an old vampire flick based on Sheridan le Fanu’s Carmilla, Blood and Roses were destined to become the great lost Goth band that never was.

First coming to major attention in the British musical press along with Brigandage around 1983, the band suffered from too much attention too soon, hitting the front page of NME at a time when the only thing they’d ever officially released was the Love Under Will EP (Kamera, 1983) and the track “ShM YHShVH” on The Whip compilation (Jungle, 1983). A transcript of the original NME article is here:

Saddled by the media with the label “positive punk” the resulting public backlash to a genre totally invented by the press reportedly nearly killed off both bands, and the departure of their original drummer and the tragic misfortune of their original bass player Jez being literally hit by a bus would see Blood and Roses disappear from view for a few years.

When they do resurface in 1995, it would be in triumphant style in the form of the Enough is Never Enough album. The cover art was done by the band themselves and, while lacking much in the aesthetics department needs to be viewed in the light that Blood and Roses were very much from the DIY school of thought and as guitarist Bob Short put it;

We didn’t have designers and image consultants. We didn’t have a team of suits planning our next move. We just did it ourselves and let what ever happened happen. Besides, if we’d pooled our meager resources, we’d still have been short of a pot to piss in. There are quite a few illicit substances that are way more interesting than your average A&R man.”

The album Enough Is Never Enough is exceptional. Blood and Roses were quite obviously reading from the same play book as Sex-Gang Children, but in a vastly less confrontational way. How I wish Goth had continued in this direction. Although I’m unclear why they chose to release “Some Like it Hot”  as a single in the light of much stronger contributions here (perhaps it’s a matter of personal taste), the title track, “Enough is Never Enough”, “Your Sin is Your Salvation” and “The Tower Falls” all represent towering icons of what Goth should have become.

Sadly though, Blood and Roses had missed the boat, 1985 being the year that Goth would begin to transmogrify ever more into a rock-based entity with The Cult releasing Love and the nascent Sisters Of Mercy releasing “First and Last and Always”. 

After being out of print for years, Blood & Roses was again made available by Anagram in 2007 under their Goth Collectors series. The CD Same As it Never Was includes not only Enough is Never Enough, but also the Crowleyesque Love Under Will EP (Kamera, 1983) and a number of remastered songs. It is easily one of the best things I’ve bought in years. Truth be told, the purchase that inspired this blog.

Yes, you want to own this.

Track Listing:
  1. Enough is Never Enough
  2. Some Like it Hot
  3. Your Sin is Your Salvation
  4. Whirr
  5. Roles
  6. Breakdown
  7. Assault on Precinct 13
  8. The Tower Falls
  9. Possession
  10. Living For Today
  11. Tomorrow
  12. Spit Upon Your Grave
  13. Bonus Tracks on Same as it Never Was: Heaven, Sleepwalkers, ShmYHShVH, Necromantra (long version), Crimson Dream, Wall after Wall, Sins of the Chimera, Love Under Will, Escape From New York

Line Up: Lisa Kirby (vocals), Ralph Jezzard (bass), Bob Short (guitars, keyboards), Parrot (drums).
Blood and Roses also have a Myspace page and an entry on but both bring up malware alerts - visit at your own risk.

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