First recognized by the gothic overtures and album cover that somehow used noir elements before any notes are ever played. Similar to a lucid nightmare straight from The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari’s world of German Expressionism; In The Flat Field combines elements of punk rock and the precursors of Factory Records’ sounds to become this warped, but monumental combination piece.
Originally nine tracks, Bauhaus opens the mostly shadowed tale with “Dark Entries,” a title of uneven cut proportions. The feedback from Daniel Ash’s guitars and the range of running rhythms are the initial looks into a grim, but energetic burst. Kevin Haskins on the percussion follows in nearly tandem to create a border for Bauhaus to follow, but the instinctual animalistic emotion is enthralling between breaks of snare and cymbal crashes.
Truly the bass work from David J Haskins doesn’t go unnoticed though and the conquering sound of Bauhaus is from their low-tuned, almost grounded nature. Lower than the Earth’s crust, in The Flat Field was created in the mantle where roots and animals go to either grow or die.
When vocalist Peter Murphy finally appears, his hoarse shouts and sunken timbre is chilling but grants a smile to the audience. He describes through distant lyrics, “I will scream in vain, oh please miss Lane. Leave me with some pain, went walking through this city’s neon lights.” As the music ramps and tension increases, strings become a rumble, and Murphy is caught in the middle. He describes, “Of walking money checks possessing holes, he often sleekly offers his services. Exploitation of his finer years, work with loosely woven fabrics.”
As Bauhaus marches on through the In The Flat Field, the track “A God In An Alcove” strikes to be a continuation of these depressing tones of sullen, almost hopeless admirations. Murphy’s vocals this time are more ghoulish than before until he shrieks like a banshee on the chorus which describes the track’s title. “A God In An Alcove” becomes a black lipstick anthem for the dance floor based on the tapping hi-hat keeping a consistent beat. The sporadic up-strums of the guitar are placed alongside these taps on the strings like a spider to the web.
When the audience finally comes to the web like a precious fly, In The Flat Field has Bauhaus at their most influential and Gothically decadent. A treasure based on sonic conquering, Bauhaus is simply capturing from the initial moments to the final closings of the coffin’s door.