• “Knives In The Drain” set to a mid 80s image of Lydia. Thanks to Angge Le Bon.
“Classic Crooner / Cabaret from the USA”
From her album “Queen Of Siam” (ZE Records ZEA-33006), released in 1980.
The solo debut from the 20-year-old arrived in February ’80 and must have come as a bit of a surprise to those who were following on from her days with the abrasive guitar works of Teenage Jesus and The Jerks in mind. After an exceptionally doom-laden opening with “Mechanical Flattery”, “Gloomy Sunday” and “Tied And Twist”, the album twists unexpectedly with a successfully unorthodox interpretation of Mike Sharpe’s mainstream pop hit of 1966, “Spooky”. More genuinely spooky is the creepy, weepy prowler, “Los Banditos”, which follows. The introduction of Billy Ver Planck’s Orchestra on side two is inspired, and accounts for my two favourite tracks; “Lady Scarface” and “Knives In The Drain”. Lydia Lunch as alt-cabaret star makes perfect sense; she was born for melodramatics and theatrics, and the “Queen Of Siam” is a gem which is buried way too deeply.
You can check more of my favoured album reviews from 1980 here.