Melody Maker, November 13th, 1993

© 1993 Melody Maker

Leftfield Lydon:
Open Up

(Hard Hands)


by Cathi Unsworth

THROUGH pulsing blue neon beats that thrum like the surface of inner city violence, that scrawny, sneering vagabond voice returns like a triumphant Fagin; back to inflame some new kind of punk. Not the kind of punk that is a two chord thrash around a four-four beat, but the sleek sophistication of Leftfield's Paul Daley and Neil Barnes, which suddenly turns the image of Lydon's fading pantomime dame back into stark, provocative gunslinger.

"Open Up" picks up where the Afrika Bambaataa collaboration "Timezone" left off, and leaves you wondering why Lydon never continued exploring the collision between urban dance and his natural bile. Like Suicide's pioneering disco Elvis, this techno PiL is an amphetamine-laced, fevered sweat through strobe-lit London nights, and despite the "Burn Hollywood Burn" refrain, these nasty lyrics still could have McLaren in their targets.

The mad eyes have it.


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