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Discography: Siouxsie Sioux: Boomerang

Discography: Siouxsie Sioux: Boomerang

While Boomerang is a more polished and less primal affair than Feast, it is still more stripped down than a Banshees album.

It would take Siouxsie Sioux and Budgie six years after Feast (1983) to return to their voice-and-drums side project, the Creatures. During that span the Banshees released four acclaimed albums, capping off the run with Peepshow, which scored a perfect rating in Q Magazine and pushed into the top 20 on the UK charts. Coming down from the flurry of Banshees activity, Siouxsie and Budgie retreated to Spain where they recorded Boomerang, the second proper Creatures LP.

Working with Mike Hedges, who served as producer and engineer for both the Banshees and the Cure, Siouxsie and Budgie set up residence in a stone barn in the town of Jerez, a city in the southeastern Spanish province of Cádiz. Just like Feast, which they recorded in Hawaii, Siouxsie and Budgie allowed the local sounds to seep in and flavor their music. While Boomerang is a more polished and less primal affair than Feast, it is still more stripped down than a Banshees album.

While Feast plays like a cohesive journey, Boomerang is a more piecemeal affair, featuring songs that wildly vary in style. The Spanish influence is evident on numerous key tracks. “Strolling Wolf” features Iberian trumpets, while the handclaps and whoops that kick off “Manchild” come straight from the musical tradition of Flamenco, the trumpets once again making a prominent appearance. Budgie matches the rhythm on his kit and Siouxsie’s layered vocals give the song an eerie dimension. According to Budgie, the lyrics deal with drug cartels in Colombia, a strange choice for a song featuring the sounds of Spain.

The Spanish influence doesn’t run through every song on Boomerang. “Killing Time” and “Willow” lean heavily on the blues, as a harmonica lead kicks off the latter. “Willow” focuses on the death of Budgie’s mother and the drummer’s lack of remembering the event until reminded by his brother. Siouxsie sings over the harmonica and some spare percussion, “I remember the ferry ride/ I remember the night she died/ All scenes from a play we see/ Plainly slipped out of the blue into the black.

Perhaps the most stunning track on Boomerang is its most forward-looking. The propulsive “Pluto Drive” is almost ambient in its synthesizers and effects on Siouxsie’s voice. It could have easily fit on a Banshees album and it’s a shame Siouxsie and Budgie didn’t create more music that sounds like it. While the glammy “Pluto Drive” ends the first side of the LP, it blends into the even more ambient “Solar Choir,” one of the two extra tracks included on the CD version.

Boomerang presented Siouxsie with another outlet for success. Lead single “Standing There” reached number 4 in the US modern charts and the pair went on tour under the Creatures moniker for the first time. The album also received excellent reviews with Melody Maker claiming that “Boomerang abounds with scarcely anticipated brilliance.” A few years later, Jeff Buckley began covering “Killing Time” in concert.

Another 10 years would pass before Siouxsie and Budgie returned as the Creatures. Though Boomerang is considered the pair’s masterpiece, it is missing the otherworldly strangeness of Feast. Anton Corbijn’s photography on the both the album’s cover and liner notes is intended to add to the duo’s desire to produce a sense of mystery, but by that point, it was too late; Siouxsie was a superstar and the Creatures no longer felt like a magical discovery.

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