The Flowers of Romance
As if annoying music couldn’t possibly get more annoying (and by annoying I mean awesome) P.I.L. followed up Metal Box (a.k.a. Second Edition) with The Flowers of Romance. While the former relied on ambiance and nearly-danceable bass grooves, this record is sparse and tribal. Tribal is my code word for “has lots of pounding drums.” Martin Atkins’s signature drumming on this record is legendary. It’s not that technically tricky like, say, the drumming you’d find on a Rush album (or a Ginny Tiu Revue album for that matter), but it is never a straightforward punk rock beat. Gone is Keith Levine’s guitar noodling. It has been replaced with synthesizers, violin screeching and whatever noise maker happened to be around the studio that day. “Noise maker” also includes John Lydon, whose screeching is in top form here.