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Virgin Prunes


At least in the United States, the Virgin Prunes are a kind of Holy Grail for goths. Their material has been so difficult to find for so long, the thrill of the hunt often outweighs the celebration of capture. They had about them the aura of uniqueness that surrounds anything unattainable, until Cleopatra's stateside release of early live performances entitled Sons Find Devils dispelled that aura. Though certain Prunes tracks have retained their luster, in retrospect it seems fair to say that they were a band more successful at baffling listeners than rewarding them. "Decline and Fall" and "Bau-dachong" show them in fine morbid fettle -- they are songs that will forever remain central to Goth's identity. Unfortunately, vocalist Gavin Friday's foppish romanticism and arty pretensions are often too salty to stomach. If you want to get to the heart of the Goth mystery, start here. Just be aware that the Virgin Prunes are an acquired taste.

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