Reviews

The Sound Physical World EP reissue

Doom-and-gloom cult heroes the SOUND first introduced themselves to the world with the 1979 EP Physical World, now back in print after a good four decades. Their run of albums in the ’80s increasingly leaned into sleak, shadowy atmospherics, but the three songs on this 7” turn the clock back to post-punk’s initial big bang, very much in line with the urgent minimalism of early WIRE and JOY DIVISION—the title of A-side “Cold Beat” is actually a very apt and succinct statement of intent, twisting some severe, punctuated slashes of guitar with frantically tense rhythms to a dramatic (but not melodramatic) effect. On the B-side, “Physical World” follows a similar trajectory, while “Unwritten Law” unwinds more slowly and deliberately, in a rough foreshadowing of some of the CHAMELEONS/ECHO AND THE BUNNYMEN comparisons that would follow them as they branched out into a long-playing format starting with 1980’s Jeopardy LP. Dance, dance, dance, dance, dance to the cold beat.