Album Review: Juju by Siouxie and The Banshees

By Hale Melvin


Before Hot Topic, being goth was difficult. It was a full time job. You had to go to a few vintage boutiques and modify your own clothes. Your aesthetic was the result of meticulous layering and careful arrangements.

Zines were these local, highly treasured artifacts. Records, when you could find them, were the centerpiece of your life.

Goth has many many sub-genres, but Siouxsie and the Banshees transcends them all and their album JuJu is what solidifies Siouxsie Sioux as the queen of Goth.

The stringy, dangling notes of the intro Spellbound bring you in. You’re in for something different. It’s heavy without being loud, or all that fast. The melodies shift quickly and the pounding drums mix with the jangling guitars for something that feels aptly spellbinding.

It’s an affect that continues for the entire album. The track Halloween attacks with this unnerving hypnotic riff punctuated by complimentarily aggressive choruses that manage to up the ante.

The following track, Monitor, is the hardest of the album. Goth is a sub-genre of Post-Punk after all. Siouxsie Sioux’s voice mixes passion with despair and blend perfectly with the metallic guitar riffs.

Another highlight of the album, Arabian Nights, showcases her impressive vocals better than any other, which float above and intensify the tribal drumming and swirling guitars.

The album closer, Voodoo Dolly’s rising tension builds in waves, as the disjointed guitar rises and falls with the lyrics of creep into being. A dark frenzy reaches a dizzying crescendo with the Siouxsie Sioux repeating “Listen” over and over again. Which you definitely should if you are ready for some intensity. This unique album was certainly artfully crafted, but perhaps too morose for casual listening.