A Kiss in the Dreamhouse is the fifth studio album by British rock band Siouxsie and the Banshees. It was released on 5 November 1982 by Polydor Records. The record marked a change of musical direction, as the group used strings for the first time and experimented in the studio. Guitarist John McGeoch played more instruments, including recorder and piano. For Julian Marszalek of The Quietus, the release proved the Banshees to be "one of the great British psychedelic bands" of the post-punk era. In August 2007, it was ranked No. 1 on Mojo magazine's list of the best albums of 1982.
It would have been easy to write off the Banshees after the so-so Superstition, especially given the fact that it came after two uneven and disappointing albums (including the unnecessary covers collection Through the Looking Glass) Frankly, one of punk's most consistently invigorating acts seemed to have run their course. Sure enough, The Rapture proved to be their final recording. The surprise is that it's a career highpoint. The band deny, incidentally, that they knew this was to be their last album. Quite how Siouxsie, Severin and Budgie rediscovered their chemistry is a moot point - some credited producer John Cale, who worked on four tracks - but rediscover it they did. Despite nods to the band's past in the savage "Not Forgotten," the real gems are the sunny-side-up "O, Baby" (when did Siouxsie ever sound so genuinely happy?) and an 11-minute title-track that is as dazzling as anything they have ever performed. A classic case of leaving the scene on a high note, and a fitting final chapter from one of punk's finest, and most dignified, bands.
Tinderbox is the most musically up-tempo of all Siouxsie and the Banshees' albums and the most stylistically consistent one since The Scream and Join Hands. Most of the selections here feature urgently rocking drumming, drivingly aggressive yet fully textured guitar playing, and masterful, gutsy singing. The songs here are intense and unfold slowly, some starting off less vigorously but becoming hard rockers further along. There is of course a fine line between consistency and lack of contrast, but this album stays firmly on the side of the former; in fact, there's a certain satisfying feel to the musically uniform wall of sound here. The arrangements are less complex than in immediately preceding albums, but there are still plenty of subtle, effective production touches to be found throughout, most notably in the song "Cannons." "Cities in the Dust," a dance-pop number with a bell-like synthesizer opening section, stretches the above-mentioned boundaries the most, though typically bleak lyrics keep this selection from any sense of vacuity. This excellent release is well worth purchasing.
Superstition is a similar album to that of Peepshow, this time with more precise production and a lighter feeling to many of the songs. While Siouxsie and the Banshees albums like Tinderbox and Juju were dark affairs, Superstition's sound is representative of the pink of the album cover. A softer pop sound, mixed with the Banshees' penchant for minor keys and strange imagery. They manage to pull it off quite well on most tracks. "Fear (Of the Unknown)" and "Drifter" are classic Siouxsie stuff, and "Kiss Them for Me" gave them their first significant entry into the U.S. singles charts. But it's tracks like "Silly Thing" that hold this album back. This track manages to do what the Banshees had avoided all their career – sounding like someone else. One of their most accessible albums, Superstition has appeal without losing its edge.
Like the Vibrators, the Stranglers were an older band which managed to gain visibility and success through association with Britain's punk movement. Musically, the group is much more polished than some of their rawer brethren such as the Adverts and Siouxsie and the Banshees…