Saturday, April 16, 2016

Classic Album Review: Sisters Of Mercy – Some Girls Wander By Mistake (1992)

The fact that Some Girls Wander By Mistake went on to become the highest charting Sisters of Mercy album of all won’t be lost on fans of the band’s earliest independent EP-based output. Some Girls Wander is basically a compilation of most of that material – including the feted ‘Reptile House’ EP – and it showcases a large portion of the band’s very best work.

Most of this stuff never made it on to any other Sisters album – although ‘Temple Of Love’ and ‘Alice’ quite rightly feature on the “greatest hits” package, A Slight Case Of Overbombing – and for that reason alone Some Girls Wander is (by both design and default) pretty much essential for any next generation Sisters fanatic. Especially given that playable vinyl copies of the original EPs are difficult to source these days.

Some of the material found on Some Girls Wander can be a little challenging at times if you’re not already familiar with the band’s earliest work, which often veers towards the more industrial end of the alternative and goth scales, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, and I suppose one of the consequences of belatedly compiling EPs is a lack of the sort of natural cohesion you might ordinarily expect from say, a studio album.

But since there were only three studio albums and one other compilation (the aforementioned Slight Case) – outwith a plethora of poorly recorded bootlegs and unofficial “live” recordings – this is an important release within the context and wider career of the Sisters of Mercy.

‘Temple Of Love’ is a definite highlight, and it’s great to have the original version on here, as opposed to the slightly inferior 1992 reworking that preceded this album’s release. It almost goes without saying that ‘Alice’ is another obvious classic, but we also get a brilliant cover of ‘1969’ (The Stooges) and a fairly decent attempt at ‘Gimme Shelter’ (Rolling Stones).

However, I was a little disappointed that ‘Emma’ (Hot Chocolate … believe it or not!) never made the cut, as I always regarded that particular EP track as a genuine hidden gem within the band’s back catalogue, even if only for its ever so slightly twisted vocal performance.

That’s only a minor complaint though, and Some Girls Wander By Mistake would have to rate right up there with the very best of its genre, and certainly it sits comfortably alongside Floodland and the band’s debut album as an essential Sisters of Mercy release.

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