This new album from The Mission falls on the 30th Anniversary of their incarnation; it seems surreal that it has really been 30 years since Wayne Hussey and Craig Adams left The Sisters of Mercy and formed The Mission. What this did do, though, is provide us us with two fantastic goth rock bands from Leeds rather than one. Both of their careers went well, the difference between the two bands being that, whereas The Sisters Of Mercy stopped being a recording band in 1990 after only 3 albums and only exist as a live band, The Mission (despite one or two absences during that time) have continued to produce albums and Another Fall From Grace is their thirteenth one to date. Wayne Hussey himself has described it as “The lost link between between The Sisters Of Mercy’s First And Last And Always and The Mission’s God’s Own Medicine.” For me it probably owes more to First and Last And Always than The Mission’s own back catalogue.
What The Mission do present is an album that really could have been released at any time in their career. It is very 80’s sounding and reassuringly The Mission. Why I think it owes more to First and Last and Always is that although each of the songs themselves are good, it is very pastoral – I would almost describe it as an evergreen album. It is very listenable, it’s one of those albums that can accompany the day, the night, whatever you are doing.
It sits, there drifting in and out and for that it makes it a great album. I believe you need albums for different moods and this works great in this concept. What it perhaps doesn’t have is the big hard hitting dance numbers of their youth and more of what we see on God’s Own Medicine. Part of the atmosphere of what makes Another Fall From Grace is the contribution on backing vocals from the likes of Ville Valo of HIM, Gary Numan, Martin Gore of Depeche Mode and Julianne Regan of All About Eve
The album starts with the title track itself “Another Fall From Grace” and its promising beginning. It has two elements that make it stand out, that low bass and vocal contribution (similar to the Sisters) but added to this a much more melodic lead guitar comes in and out giving the song a great goth pop feeling to it. What is also immediately evident is that Hussey’s vocals are still as strong as ever and the range of his voice helps carry this song.
You may already be familiar with the catchy “Met-Amor-Phosis”, this is the most traditional The Mission on the album, it has that great guitar throughout the song, very Cultish and a chorus that you could dance to and lose yourself in. The main indicator that this is 2016 and not 1986 though is the topic, “Met-Amor-Phosis, with age comes change”.
I actually think that most of the songs on this album are strong as stand-alone tracks which is why the album works so well. This is not covering new ground or reinventing the wheel and nor is it a massive dance floor filler but it is very listenable. Take the Echo and the Bunnymen-ish “Can’t See the Ocean for the Rain” for example. This a great track, it maintains The Mission as an overall feel but vocal wise Hussey has a mellower voice , much more suited to a pop song like this. Lyrically it is very catchy and before long you will be singing along. The Mission have always had the knack to write a good song, and are able to draw you into their world with this use of melody on the vocals and dynamics within each track.
“Never Longer than Forever” is another good example. The start is very Missionesque, full of atmosphere, slow building wioth that touch of emptiness in between the beats that really is the key ingredient in any goth record. It is the spaces and what is left out that enables you to fill the gaps and be engaged with the song yourself. The verses suit the pace but then in comes another big chorus this time sounding a bit more like an early 90’s indie band. Julianne Regan’s backing vocals only heighten this feeling. Again, a great track and little by little The Mission are drawing you into their world.
Another Fall From Grace is unmistakably a Mission record and perhaps at the first one or two listens its not going to blow your mind, it’s not a great departure from what they do best. It’s goth/melodic rock but give it a few spins and the layers start revealing themselves and underneath is a pretty dramatic and well-crafted album that will sit well against their back catalogue and will allow you to be taken again into their world.
The Mission UK and Ireland Tour dates
Thu 6th Nottingham Rock City w/ Peter Murphy
Fri 7th Bristol O2 Academy w/ Peter Murphy
Sat 8th London O2 Shepherds Bush Empire w/ Peter Murphy + The Awakening (SOLD OUT )
Thu 3rd Leeds O2 Academy w/ The 69 Eyes + The Skeletal Family
Fri 4th London O2 Forum Kentish Town w/ The 69 Eyes + Pauline Murray
Sat 5th Whitby Goth Weekend
Sun 6th Birmingham O2 Institute w/ The 69 Eyes + Pauline Murray