A year after their 1987 all cover-song album Through The Looking Glass; Siouxsie and The Banshees returned with an album of original material. The core of the group, vocalist Siouxsie Sioux, bassist Steven Severin, and drummer Budgie remained intact but now guitarist Joe Klein and keyboardist Martin McCarrick filled out the band.
Peepshow is an album that explores two sides of the band’s personality. A couple of the songs move toward the mainstream in a way that runs counter to most of their material, while the majority of the album is a “peepshow” into the mind and soul of the band, which turns out to be an odd and dark journey. This may not make for a totally cohesive release but it all adds up to one of the more interesting albums of their career.
“Peek-A-Boo” is a smooth and very polished track that fits in with pop radio. If there is such a thing as alternative hip-hop, this is it. “The Lost Beauty Of My Heart” is a stunning love song on which Siouxsie’s voice purrs and soars as she tells a tender tale.
Many of the other tracks are perfect for a Halloween party late at night. “Scarecrow” builds on a sinister bass line. “Burn-Up” is a track that builds and builds to a frenetic conclusion. “Rawhead And Bloody Bones” is a sparse, dark track that is not for the faint-hearted.
The melodies are intact but travel in a different direction than is the norm. Siouxsie’s voice is an instrument that is made for the material as it conveys the stories with power and passion.
There are three bonus tracks included. “The Killing Jar” remix has not been in print for 25 years and “The Last Beat Of My Heart” Live at Lollapalooza in 1991 is nice to compare to the studio version.
Peepshow is an album where the individual parts are better than the whole. Still, it is a good representation of the creativity of the band and is a solid link in their musical chain.