Article image

Title: gander banter: Propaganda — Hammersmith Palais
Author: Roger Holland
Source: Melody Maker
Publish date: November 16, 1985

The first cut. A secret wish of sorts has long been these people, with their precious bright spark of pure pop instinct, to forgo the ZTT trappings and frippery of hollow pretence and retrogressive rockist instrumental bombast which had conspired to mar their debut album. Tonight they enter not in time to some overbearing Horny-handed pomp and circumstance, but to their very own ‘Duel’.

The second cut. Pared down but still overwhelming. ‘Doctor Mabuse’, ‘The Murder Of Love’, Haig and Ross’s ‘Sorry For Laughing’ and even Lou Reed’s too familiar ‘Femme Fatale’. Centre stage, Claudia Brucken and her adorable Girl Friday, Susanne, could well become the fulcrum for the next Abba. Look, they dance! Look, they sing! A black hearted pop is wrapped in white satin sheets — romantic, bewildering, bewitching.

And the third cut. Claudia’s voice pulls and pushes and play with out emotions. The beats chop and change. And Propaganda shine. ‘Jewel’ sashays just for me. And swinging, swaying incisive pop angles cut at me, make their points, underline them and then disappear into a chord sequence forged in heaven and a chorus which soars upon the edges in Claudia’s wiles.

“Power! Force! Motion! Drive!” — ‘pMachinery’ has it all. As do Propaganda. A stream of dance and melody. My heart misses a beat, and suddenly it’s the only way to live.