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Bauhaus: Go Away White

Album: Go Away White
Label: Bauhaus

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Bauhaus was steeped in theatricality, but there was surprisingly little drama to its return from the dead 10 years ago. In fact, the band's sporadic tours since its 1998 reformation wound up leeching a lot of the mystique from the goth godfather. At the same time, Peter Murphy and crew finally came into their own trademark ghoulishness—after all, there's nothing like a few wrinkles to augment a gaunt, skull-like countenance.

So, having grown more human and more eerie, Bauhaus has unleashed Go Away White, its first studio album since 1983. Funnily enough, The Beatles are the first thing heard on the disc—specifically, the purloined bassline of "Taxman" that fuels "Too Much 21st Century." But inspirations aside, Bauhaus now sounds more like Bauhaus than it ever did—and yet it doesn't sink into self-parody, even when cannibalizing its own lyrics and death-knell guitar. While many cult bands can't make a dignified comeback to save their lives, the raw, slithering, true-to-its-roots Go Away White is more than a swansong. It's a minor masterpiece that proves Bauhaus has been nicely preserved.